BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S WISE WORDS

I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up this patriotic week than to feature this new title from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS. In today’s world of political infighting and rhetoric not only should our future leaders read this book but also the current ones.

Here’s the official background:

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Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words by K.M. Kostyal, illustrated by Fred Harper. (ages 8-12, hardcover) – In this day and age, we could all use some words of wisdom and there are but a precious few individuals that have proven themselves to be of a greater mind than Benjamin Franklin.  Complete with fifty of Ben Franklin’s renowned sayings and paired with modern-day translations, whimsical caricature artwork and fascinating stories about Franklin’s life, this title gives sage advice on everything from good citizenship and manners to friendship, achieving your dreams and being happy. It’s a great go-to for inspirational and innovative ways to practice mindfulness, industriousness, and self-improvement by one of the United States’ most famous Founding Fathers.  History buffs young and old will particularly enjoy the book’s forward by H.W. Brands.  Brands’ book, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. 

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Seven themed chapters contain the collection of quotes: TRANQUILITY, INDUSTRY, ORDER, HUMILITY, RESOLUTION, SINCERITY, and MODERATION. Each quote is stated on its own page in Ben’s language of the time. The quote is then rewritten in a more understanding way for kids (and adults). For example:

A SLIP OF THE FOOT YOU MAY SOON RECOVER: BUT A SLIP OF THE TONGUE YOU MAY NEVER GET OVER.

TRANSLATION: Be careful what you say. Because once it’s said, you can’t take it back—ever.

The rest of the page is devoted to how Ben followed the words in his own life. You’ll learn some fascinating insights about this famous American and the role he played in getting our country started. On the opposite page is a full page color illustration. Each one is a great visual of the quote and most are hilarious.

After reading through the over 4 dozen quotes, I had to go back and reread my favorite ones. Wrapping up Ben’s wise words are a few pages highlighting his iconic inventions.

Perfect as a discussion starter in the classroom or at the dinner table. You could take one quote per day or week and think about how you carry it out in your own life or plan to do so in the future.

Thank goodness the inspiration of Benjamin Franklin will live on forever!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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4 Responses to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S WISE WORDS

  1. This is a timely book and I want to read it! This is a great discussion book for dinner time. I keep a journal, where I jot down words of wisdom I read from great people. Have always loved Benjamin Franklin.

  2. NatGeo Kids keeps coming up with fun books for kids. Thanks for the review.

  3. Ben Franklin was a colonial rock star!

  4. Wow! Have to find this onE.

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