Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France

by Mara Rockliff and Iacopo Bruno

Scientific discoveries were all the rage the first time Ben Franklin visited Paris.... read more

Scientific discoveries were all the rage the first time Ben Franklin visited Paris. His own work showing lightning was the same as electricity—arrived at through the scientific method of observation, hypothesis, and testing—was among the ideas that dazzled Parisians. Then a man named Dr. Mesmer captivated the French city with his claims that he had discovered a mysterious force that “streamed from the stars and flowed into his wand” and with which he could cure sickness (not to mention make people swoon, twitch, and tremble). On a return trip to Paris, Ben used the scientific method to prove that mesmerizing was a hoax (and a lucrative one at that): It was all the power of suggestion. This expansive and entertaining picture book is told and illustrated with humor and pizzazz while introducing, explaining, and reinforcing the scientific method. A lengthy author’s note tells more about Franklin and Mesmer in Paris. (Ages 8–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

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