How to Work Smart, Play Well, and Make Real Friends

By: K.M. Kostyal

Illustrated by: Fred Harper

Published: January 24, 2017

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Even though this book of quotes, wisdom, and life lessons from Benjamin Franklin is written for upper elementary to middle-school-aged kids, adults will love it too. I did! I love books that involve quotes and bits of wisdom and I have several in my own personal library. This easy-to-read hardcover offers quotes from Benjamin Franklin along with bits of wisdom and explanation for kids to go along with each quote.

The illustrations are super fun. They appear as watercolors with fabulous caricature-like expressions and people in time-period appropriate clothing.

Benjamin Franklin was quite the interesting man and went on to be one of our Founding Fathers. Even though he didn’t go to school after the age of ten, he still found ways to learn, explore, and create. He was an inventor, author, scientist, and political activist to name a few. No moss grew under his feet! Benjamin Franklin was known for his many sayings and advice and this book collects fifty of them important for kids and adults to ponder.

In all of his travels, Benjamin Franklin made numerous friends. Those connections helped him become one of our Founding Fathers. But, while visiting friends you could hear him say one of his famous quotes, “Fish and visitors stink after three days.”

The book is broken down into chapters of Tranquility, Industry, Order, Humility, Resolution, Sincerity, and Moderation. Then each of the quotes is sorted according to their area of interest. Franklin’s quote is shared first, then there is a retelling of the quote in easier to understand terms. Then a few paragraphs about Franklin and his life related to the quote fill the rest of the page. I learned a lot I didn’t know about him and he was quite a fascinating man.

I thought this book was really great and is one I will be keeping on my shelf. I could see teachers using these quotes as a type of ‘bell-ringer” activity. Opening with the quote and asking students to write about what the quote means to them would also encourage some great discussion. This would be a great gift for history buffs and students who like stating witty quotes or learning about our great leaders.

K.M. Kostyal

Karen has worked as a senior editor at both National Geographic Magazine and the Geographic’s Book Division and as a contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler. As a freelance writer and editor, she continues to work with National Geographic publications and Paraculture Books, as well as with various magazines. She’s the recipient of two Lowell Thomas Awards and a member of Ripple Effect Images. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. from the University of Virginia. For more, check out her website, HERE

To purchase a copy of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S WISE WORDS, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama’s regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children’s and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

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1 Comment

  1. bermudaonion on October 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I never realized how accomplished Ben Franklin was until I read this book.

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