How could it be that a middle-aged man flying a kite in a thunderstorm should bring down with it not only the lightning but victory for the American Colonies in the Revolution?
To find the answer, travel with Isaac Asimov as he ventures from the frontiers of the New World to the frontiers of science to the shores of Delaware to the courts of France and England.
This is a biography of Benjamin Franklin for grade school children. Asimov being who he is, he focuses on Franklin’s work as a scientist and, particular, electricity. Along the way, he spends several chapters talking about electricity and gives a good history of the subject before he even gets to Franklin.
This is probably a good thing, too, because if there’s anything that children know about Franklin, it’s the story about him, his kite, and lightning, so getting the proper and complete background for it is good.
And again, Asimov being who he is, there’s a strong focus as well on Franklin’s career as a diplomat and statesman. This is also good, because it helps children get a stronger sense for the story of the beginning of the United States. (I speak, of course, from the perspective of an American here.)
I do enjoy this book, although I must confess to not liking Franklin quite as much as Asimov does. (The Dream; Benjamin’s Dream; Benjamin’s Bicentennial Blast I definitely considered overkill, not to mention his presence in Norby and the Queen’s Necklace.) Still, it’s a good book and something that a grade school child might well find useful and interesting.