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Ben Franklin's Fame: Blast to the Past    by Stacia Deutsch & Rhody Cohon order for
Ben Franklin's Fame
by Stacia Deutsch
Order:  USA  Can
Aladdin, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Graham Bell, and Martin Luther King sound like names from the top ten list in a typical social studies course. Yes, they did amazing things, but none of them are alive any more. And to be honest, most kids find studying them pretty dry and dull. Not so in Mr. Caruthers' third grade class, where four kids meet after school and form a history club, where they actually travel back in time and save history.

In Ben Franklin's Fame, just one book in the Blast to the Past series by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon, the four kids go back in time to stop history from derailing. Using their teacher's special time travel computer and cartridges, they have two hours to convince Ben Franklin not to quit, thereby changing history forever. They're battling against time and the devious Babs Magee, whose mission it is to become famous by stealing places in history. She's fast and she's tricky, and she keeps Abigail, Bo, Jacob, and Zack on their toes as she keeps beating them. To save history they need to draw on their knowledge of Franklin and his time period, along with just having a natural curious streak. As time dwindles, the plot's pace picks up and readers will wonder if the kids can do it once again and save the past in the nick of time.

The book is packed with historical information, so that authors Deutsch and Cohon will have kids reading about the past without even realizing they're learning. There are no long-winded recitations of encyclopedic facts, and there is nothing dry about this series. The book has all the right ingredients to appeal to both kids and parents - and also tells a terrific and creative story.

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