Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France
Mara Rockliff & Iacopo Bruno
Candlewick, 2015 (2015)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
ollow along as Mara Rockliff explains how Ben Franklin used the scientific method to expose a medical charlatan, Franz Anton Mesmer, who tried to convince French society that his iron wand and mysterious techniques could cure people of virtually any ailment.
hen Franklin arrived in Paris in the 1770s, Dr. Mesmer's antics had captured a lot of attention. The American didn't believe Mesmer was actually curing anyone, so Franklin set about exposing the man.
n this fascinating picture book you learn how Franklin actually showed Mesmer's claims were unfounded. You'll also learn about the placebo effect and how that is something we still talk about today, especially in new medical research.
ecause of the subject matter and the manner in which this story is developed, it can be a bit too much for a younger reader. I would hold off until the reader is at least seven or eight before giving him/her this book to read.
cience teachers will also find this an excellent story to use to engage students and launch a discussion on the scientific method and its uses.
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