Guest Author - Taisha Turner
Ben Franklinís Fame is the sixth book in the Blast to the Past series. In the series, children learn about famous historical people. Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohonís third-grade time travelers return. The fictional characters: Abigail, Zack, Jacob and Bo go to the 1700s to help Benjamin Franklin.
For those not familiar with the Blast to the Past series, there is another character, Babs Magee. She is determined to be famous, but does not want to do the work to become one. Therefore, she tries to steal famous Americansí life accomplishments as her own. The third graders cannot allow this, because it will change history.
In Ben Franklinís Fame, Mr. Caruthersí third-grade history class commences. The subject is the great Benjamin Franklin. The class turns to the page as instructed. Alas, there is no photo of Ben Franklin, but of Babs Magee!
Mr. Caruthers, history teacher/time-machine inventor, and the foursome know what has happened. The History Club members: Abigail, Zack, Jacob and Bo go to the past using a hand-held computer, a time-machine. First, they land near the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia. Horrors! The children witness Babs Magee signing the Declaration of Independence. And, the scariest thing of all, no one knows of Ben Franklin. Not even Deborah Read, Franklinís wife, knows of him.
The History Club members have their work ahead of them. How can you help a person that canít be found? The members continue to travel backwards in the past through a time portal. Along the way they learn of Benjamin Franklinís interesting and important accomplishments.
This is a good chapter book for learning about Benjamin Franklin's role in American history. Abigail, Zack, Bo and Jacob are believable characters with distinct personalities. The authors, Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon, give lots of historical facts without sacrificing the humor and quick pace.
Ben Franklinís Fameís diversity will appeal to the modern reader. A child will find a character like them or either a friend or neighbor. The story is fun with a history lesson. Children, by far, are compassionate and will want to help Ben Franklin. The chapter book won the Teacherís Choice Award for 2007.
The History Club members travel through a time portal. Read Time Portals in Fantasy Novels to learn more about time portals.
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