|Benjamin Franklin : huge pain in my ***
Author: Mansbach, Adam
In the midst of adjusting to middle school and having a girlfriend, Franklin "Ike" Saturday's life becomes even more complicated when he writes a letter to Benjamin Franklin as an extra-credit assignment and gets a reply, beginning a correspondence that could change history.
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Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 7.10
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 177063
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/15)
School Library Journal (11/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2015 Gr 5–7—Franklin Isaac (Ike) Saturday writes a letter to Benjamin Franklin for an extra credit school assignment. After all, he is named after the man. In the letter, he shares some rather personal details about his life, including his resentment of his stepfather (Dirk the Jerk) and his crush on Claire Wanzandae. After inadvertently mailing the letter with one of his stepfather's old stamps, he is stunned to receive a reply. At first he thinks it's a joke, but it becomes apparent that it isn't. As Ike struggles to navigate his relationship with Claire, he makes some pretty bad choices, which get him in major trouble, both at home and at school. He turns to Benjamin Franklin for help. Little effort is made to be historically accurate; the jokes are the focus here. The letters from Franklin are full of large words and unusual punctuation similar to those used at the time (for example, capital letters are often inserted in the middle of sentences). This will be challenging for reluctant readers to understand, though the humor is squarely targeted at this market. As the story progresses, Ike's decisions, while well-intentioned, go from bad to worse. At one point, he sneaks out at two in the morning to meet Claire and her friends at an elementary school playground, taking some of his stepfather's beer with him (thought it turns out to be nonalcoholic). VERDICT A strictly additional purchase.—Heidi Grange, Summit Elementary School, Smithfield, UT - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.