Ben Franklin's Almanac:
Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life
by Candace Fleming
Modeled on his own Poor Richard's Almanack, this unique scrapbook captures Franklin's countless accomplishments. Biography and anecdote, cartoon and etching mesh to create a fascinating portrait of this most fascinating man. Anyone interested in the birth of American democracy...or curious about the rise of the U.S. postal system...or wondering how paper money came to be...or wanting to know how Ben Franklin was part of it all, is sure to pore over Ben Franklin's Almanac.
Unlike some other Ben Franklin biographies for kids, this book packs in interesting details without forgetting the intended audience! Kids in grades 5-9 will have no problem reading and comprehending this fascinating biography.
"There's no shortage of books on Franklin, but this biography...is unlike anything that has come before...A fitting tribute to a "good gentleman" whose life was well and energetically lived.(Booklist)
"Reminiscent of Franklin's own Poor Richard's Almanack, this book is a superlative example of the biographer's craft and a fitting tribute to the gentleman himself." (School Library Journal)
This book numerous children's book awards. It was named a National Council for Social Studies Notable Children's Book, a American Library Association Notable Children's Book, and a American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults (all in 2004).
Interest Level: Grade 5-9
DRA Level: 60
Lexile Measure: 1000L
Grade Level Equivalent: 7.2
Guided Reading Level: X
Read-Aloud vs. Individual Reading:
The intended audience for this book is grades 5-9. Most kids in this range should be able to read this book on their own, with the exception of most fifth graders and many beginning-of-the-year sixth graders, who (on average) do not read on this reading level until the middle of sixth grade. If you are giving this book to fifth or sixth graders to read, plan to provide extra support for individual reading OR read this one as a read-aloud.
The text is formatted in a scrapbook and/or newspaper style format, which makes a book this packed with information a little less intimidating for children. And while reading is best, of course, browsers will get a lot out of this book as well, thanks for the clever formatting.