Ben and Me
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Ben and Me
Author: Robert Lawson
Major Themes: Benjamin Franklin, France, Historical Fiction, American Revolution
Synopsis: Benjamin Franklin wasn’t really as smart as everyone thinks he was—this astonishing story tells the “truth” about him!
Several months ago, we read Mr. Revere and I, which told the story of Paul Revere’s ride and the battles of Lexington and Concord from the point of view of his horse. Everyone wanted to hear the companion book, Ben and Me, when we were reading about Benjamin Franklin. This book is just as fun as the first one—maybe even better! Did you know that Ben Franklin was really not that smart; all his inventions were actually ideas from his mouse? (Except the lightning investigation—you’ll have to read the book to learn the “truth” about that one!)
Amos was the oldest of 26 children in the church mouse family—and they were poor as church mice. As a result, Amos left home to find his fortune out in the world. He soon found himself in the house of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, where he found a cheese rind and a fur cap. After giving a suggestion, next morning, to Dr. Franklin, which made the house much warmer, Amos found himself with a job. Dr. Franklin needed Amos’s advice, so they drew up a contract, and Amos had himself a good, warm home and plenty to eat.
Amos made sure that Ben knew everything he needed to know about the people he was around, and gave him much good counsel. Ben didn’t always follow Amos’s directions, though—and one time, at least, he regretted it. The results of the swim were rather embarrassing, and it makes a very funny story. Then there were the electrical experiments. Amos did not approve, but Ben did them anyway—you can’t miss the story about the lightning!
This is a very funny story about Benjamin Franklin and his contributions to science and to the American Revolution. The basic facts are accurate, but told in a way that you’ve never heard before. Ben and Me is history wrapped up in comedy!
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Benjamin Franklin, France, Historical Fiction, American Revolution