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Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4)

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A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementa A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementary schools today!


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A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementa A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementary schools today!

30 review for Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Both the text and the illustrations make Franklin into a goofball. And the magic square part is historically inaccurate (the author's note states, "no one knows exactly how or exactly when Ben Franklin came up with magic squares" - mostly because he didn't come up with them: they have been around since before Christ) and incomplete (Franklin created many squares that were not true magic squares, but had other curious aspects). I wish the book had been presented in a more serious and accurate man Both the text and the illustrations make Franklin into a goofball. And the magic square part is historically inaccurate (the author's note states, "no one knows exactly how or exactly when Ben Franklin came up with magic squares" - mostly because he didn't come up with them: they have been around since before Christ) and incomplete (Franklin created many squares that were not true magic squares, but had other curious aspects). I wish the book had been presented in a more serious and accurate manner. Magic squares are fascinating and ancient; Franklin was a many-sided genius, not a buffoon - what is wrong with sending kids those messages?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    With his pet squirrel "Skruggs" in every illustration, Benjamin Franklin is presented as a very imaginative and inventive person, as he was. Frank Murphy has compiled interesting facts from the mind and life of Mr. Franklin and created a story to tell us even more about him that you may not have known previously. With his pet squirrel "Skruggs" in every illustration, Benjamin Franklin is presented as a very imaginative and inventive person, as he was. Frank Murphy has compiled interesting facts from the mind and life of Mr. Franklin and created a story to tell us even more about him that you may not have known previously.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scott Hayden

    There's more history than fiction in this quick book. The inside back page "author's note" clarifies. But it's a fun read full of interesting facts and reasonable speculation. There's more history than fiction in this quick book. The inside back page "author's note" clarifies. But it's a fun read full of interesting facts and reasonable speculation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    When America was just 13 colonies, there lived a very smart guy . His name was Benjamin Franklin . He alway thinking and writing and inventing cool thing but some of his inventing were not that cool and also harmful . This book is very interesting to read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is an entertaining story that teaches about Ben Franklin's life and his creation of a mathematical concept he called his "most magically magical magic squares." The book is actually a mix of nonfiction biography and historical fiction that hypothesizes how Mr. Franklin made his discovery. Overall, it's a short and entertaining story that glosses over the most famous and important of Benjamin Franklin's inventions, but still offers a glimpse into the genius's prolific inventions. We really e This is an entertaining story that teaches about Ben Franklin's life and his creation of a mathematical concept he called his "most magically magical magic squares." The book is actually a mix of nonfiction biography and historical fiction that hypothesizes how Mr. Franklin made his discovery. Overall, it's a short and entertaining story that glosses over the most famous and important of Benjamin Franklin's inventions, but still offers a glimpse into the genius's prolific inventions. We really enjoyed reading this book together.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    This book was a fantastic read. It covered a number of Ben Franklin's inventions in a very child friendly way. I loved the details on how the Magic Squares work at the end, as well as the true facts at the end of the book. I think it's a great read and a wonderful way to get kids interested in math and Ben Franklin at the same time! This book was a fantastic read. It covered a number of Ben Franklin's inventions in a very child friendly way. I loved the details on how the Magic Squares work at the end, as well as the true facts at the end of the book. I think it's a great read and a wonderful way to get kids interested in math and Ben Franklin at the same time!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anjanabiswa

    By Frank Murphy, Illustrated by Richard Walz   Summary: Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares is written by Frank Murphy and Illustrated by Richard Walz. Ben Frank was many things: a writer, a scientist, a statesman, and an inventor. One of his many inventions is the magic square, in which columns and rows of numbers, when added together, result in the same sum.   Evaluation of Illustrations and Text: The text is in many paragraphs per page. Some of the pages have little speech bubbles.   Strategies for By Frank Murphy, Illustrated by Richard Walz   Summary: Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares is written by Frank Murphy and Illustrated by Richard Walz. Ben Frank was many things: a writer, a scientist, a statesman, and an inventor. One of his many inventions is the magic square, in which columns and rows of numbers, when added together, result in the same sum.   Evaluation of Illustrations and Text: The text is in many paragraphs per page. Some of the pages have little speech bubbles.   Strategies for Use in the Classroom:  I think this book would be effective to use in the classroom because it writes about Ben Franklin major and minor invention. This can be an introduction for students about Ben Franklin and why his inventions were and are important to the world. Make timeline:  The students can organize Ben Franklin's many inventions to make a timeline of when they were made and what he made.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lauri

    Short history of Ben Franklin and some of his accomplishments. As an added bonus, learn about when and how he invented magic squares (a math puzzle) and how they work. Then try making your own magic square! Would be fun to use in a unit on The Constitution, Colonial America, or inventions.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Isaiah C.

    Really like it because he made the magic squares. They look so magical sort of, because they make 15 on every way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Sheppard Gidge

    Excellent story!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Benedict Randhawa

    Long ago there lived a man called Benjamin Franklin. He is very smart man. But most people called him Ben. Ben invented many things.But most famous invented was Magic Square..

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Stopper

    Title: “Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares” Author: Frank Murphy Illustrator: Richard Walz Genre: Biography (Grades K-2) Theme(s): Mathematical Recreations, Biography, Ben Franklin, Number Games Opening line/sentence: “Over 200 years ago, when America was just 13 colonies, there lived a super smart guy. You may have hear of him. His name was Benjamin Franklin.” Brief Book Summary: This book begins by telling the reader who Ben Franklin was and what he did. It goes on to tell different facts about B Title: “Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares” Author: Frank Murphy Illustrator: Richard Walz Genre: Biography (Grades K-2) Theme(s): Mathematical Recreations, Biography, Ben Franklin, Number Games Opening line/sentence: “Over 200 years ago, when America was just 13 colonies, there lived a super smart guy. You may have hear of him. His name was Benjamin Franklin.” Brief Book Summary: This book begins by telling the reader who Ben Franklin was and what he did. It goes on to tell different facts about Ben Franklin (quotes, etc). The book continues in the same fashion until it gets to the magic squares. From here it tells how he figured it out and how to use them and solve them. Professional Recommendation/Review #1: 48 pp. Random (Random House Children's Books) 2001. LE ISBN 0-375-90621-5 PE ISBN 0-375-80621-0 (4) K-3 Illustrated by Richard Walz. Step into Reading + Math series. After mentioning some of the ways in which "super busy guy" Ben Franklin was "super smart," Murphy tells how Franklin devised a math puzzle he called "Magic Squares." The book concludes by explaning how readers can generate their own magic squares. While the text's informality may annoy some, the cartoonish illustrations capture the spirit of the narrative. Professional Recommendation/Review #2: Carolyn Phelan (Booklist, Jul. 1, 2001 (Vol. 97, No. 21)) In this lively offering from the Step into Reading + Math series, young readers will learn about both BenjaminFranklin and magic squares--square grids of numerals in which all the numbers in any vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row adds up to the same sum. The text introduces Franklin as a smart, curious kid whose ideas led him to "inventing cool things"; as a witty, intelligent man whose ideas were the seeds of America's first library, fire station,and hospital; and as a "super busy guy" who amused himself during meetings of the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly by creating magic squares. An appended section offers step-by-step directions for those who want to construct their own versions of the mathematical puzzle. The engaging, informal style of the writing and the colorful, cartoonlike illustrations make this a playful but solid choice for introducing young readers to Franklin and to magic squares. Response to Two Professional Reviews: I thought that this was a very clever book in all. It hits on history and math. Young readers will like this book because of the vibrant cartoonish illustrations and interesting narrative, while also learning a new math concept. Evaluation of Literary Elements: The book contains very vibrant colorful cartoon-like illustrations that young readers would really enjoy. It also has very large font and minimul pages which young readers would appreciate. Consideration of Instructional Application: This is a book that I could see myself using in the classroom. I would set it up so that magic squares lesson and learning about Ben Franklin would occur around the same time, so this book could do double duty. It tells a lot about Ben Franklin and what he did, which I would use during history class. Then, during math class I would use the book to help teach magic squares because the book does a great job of explaining how Ben figured them out, and how to create and solve your own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Lee

    Genre- Historical Fiction Grade Level- 3-4 Awards- None This book is a great historical fiction book for students to learn about Benjamin Franklik. Not only does this book deal with history, but it also could be used with a math lesson. This book describes Benjamins Franklin's many inventions. This book would be wonderful to share as a teacher for many reasons. This book has many activities that could possibly be used along with it. First, this would be great to have the children learn about Benjam Genre- Historical Fiction Grade Level- 3-4 Awards- None This book is a great historical fiction book for students to learn about Benjamin Franklik. Not only does this book deal with history, but it also could be used with a math lesson. This book describes Benjamins Franklin's many inventions. This book would be wonderful to share as a teacher for many reasons. This book has many activities that could possibly be used along with it. First, this would be great to have the children learn about Benjamin and all of his accomplishments. This can be done by reading this book while learning about him in history class. Second, this book could be used during math class because the "magic squares" are created and solved by doing math. I would have the students solve or create their own magic squares. Finally, this book could be used with science class by having the students create their own inventions like Benjamin Franklin did.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dean Deters

    Ben franklin and the magic spuares is the summary, ben franklin like to fly kites when he was a 11 years old. He puts flippers on and it all started at the lake. When he was 23 years old he made newspapers. And when he was 36 years old he made a stoove every like his ideas. He never out grew his kite. Now he's in a city. Some man walked up to Ben because they were they were proud. Ben franklin died two hundred years ago he was allways around. The two old men werw having a argument wile ben was sl Ben franklin and the magic spuares is the summary, ben franklin like to fly kites when he was a 11 years old. He puts flippers on and it all started at the lake. When he was 23 years old he made newspapers. And when he was 36 years old he made a stoove every like his ideas. He never out grew his kite. Now he's in a city. Some man walked up to Ben because they were they were proud. Ben franklin died two hundred years ago he was allways around. The two old men werw having a argument wile ben was sleepingand then the two old men stard at him and thenhe said,I'm sorry.Ben franklin is a creatve because he made newspaper for eveybody and made stooves.Ben fraklin was impaortant because he made stoves for eveybody because they would'nt cook their meat. I like this book and I'ma reader. by ethan g.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Brown

    Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares is a quality informational text for young readers. The text allows for an short period study talking about revolutionary America, but presents the historical figure of Ben Franklin in a fun-loving and interesting way that will hook children in instantly. The book begins by highlighting many of Ben's inventions and early accomplishments. The concepts of chronology and character motivation can be a great discussion point here for students. However, the biggest ho Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares is a quality informational text for young readers. The text allows for an short period study talking about revolutionary America, but presents the historical figure of Ben Franklin in a fun-loving and interesting way that will hook children in instantly. The book begins by highlighting many of Ben's inventions and early accomplishments. The concepts of chronology and character motivation can be a great discussion point here for students. However, the biggest hook in the story comes when Ben creates the "magic square" all while chairing an important meeting at the continental congress. Young readers not only learn a lot about how revolutionary America was different than how it is today, but also get a glimpse into the life of a profound American inventor and renaissance man.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Ritcey

    Genre: Historical Fiction Awards: none Grade Level: 3-4 Comments: I would use this book when talking about great historical figures. This book is fun for the kids to read but at the same time gives them a great deal of information. I would after reading this to them have them get in groups and talk about their favorite invention of Ben Franklin, and then what they thought of the magic square. After reading I would have them each pick an invention and then look up more information it with their grou Genre: Historical Fiction Awards: none Grade Level: 3-4 Comments: I would use this book when talking about great historical figures. This book is fun for the kids to read but at the same time gives them a great deal of information. I would after reading this to them have them get in groups and talk about their favorite invention of Ben Franklin, and then what they thought of the magic square. After reading I would have them each pick an invention and then look up more information it with their group and present to the class what they found.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Disha

    Loved the book for its detailed illustration as well as strong storyline. The book deals with Ben Franklin the American president and the inventor in him. The book spans over his childhood passion of creating useful stuff which also remains as a habit in him till old age. The book mainly speaks of what prompted him to find magic squares. A must for parents and kids for learning maths the fun way. The book also is informative covering the posts he held and his interests, nice way of learning a li Loved the book for its detailed illustration as well as strong storyline. The book deals with Ben Franklin the American president and the inventor in him. The book spans over his childhood passion of creating useful stuff which also remains as a habit in him till old age. The book mainly speaks of what prompted him to find magic squares. A must for parents and kids for learning maths the fun way. The book also is informative covering the posts he held and his interests, nice way of learning a little bit of history too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementa A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementa

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I picked it up thinking my children would enjoy learning a little about a great founding father of America. it was a great story and mom and dad learned a few things too about Benjamin Franklin. Magic squares have always hurt my brain. I just don't get them. Guess I am not logical or mathmatical. Great book non the less I picked it up thinking my children would enjoy learning a little about a great founding father of America. it was a great story and mom and dad learned a few things too about Benjamin Franklin. Magic squares have always hurt my brain. I just don't get them. Guess I am not logical or mathmatical. Great book non the less

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bailee Sanders

    This book is great! It takes an aspect of history and turns it into a story that is both educational and entertaining. The main purpose is leading into the math squares. I think it would be fun to read this to introduce making our own magic squares. It would be refreshing to introduce math with a story. I could fit this book into my classroom.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    After reading other Ben Franklin books, it was nice to find a version that was written for children. My students agreed that it would be very hard to write about someone who had an amazingly interesting life and know what to include and what to leave out. This one will be a nice little quick read but lead in to some fun math exploration.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Murphy

    Coming from one who has never been a big fan of math, this book is a fun, entertaining, and detailed read. It provides a simple look into the life of Ben Franklin that shows the possibilities of the human mind. With the detailed directions to make Franklin's "Magic Squares," this could be utilized for an interesting math lesson. Coming from one who has never been a big fan of math, this book is a fun, entertaining, and detailed read. It provides a simple look into the life of Ben Franklin that shows the possibilities of the human mind. With the detailed directions to make Franklin's "Magic Squares," this could be utilized for an interesting math lesson.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Hansen

    I loved this book. Great for elementary students to learn about history. The book talked about Ben Franklin, Magic Squares-math-, inventions and much more. For a child book it sure was filled with information. I would defiantly read to elementary students to further their knowledge on Ben Franklin and what he contributed to the society.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    This is definitely an advanced easy reader book. The text/vocabulary is harder than most, but not too difficult for students. Through this story we learn how Ben Franklin discovered his magic squares as well as several of his numerous other inventions

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    Checked it out from the library today. My little one has already asked me to read it to him four times. It is a great book if your kid is interested in numbers. It is also a great book for talking about how to deal with boredom.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Perfect segue into mathematics (specifically sudoku).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Guinevere

    He made a game where you have to find out two different numbers to put together to make one number and then three others to make the same number.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy E.

    A perfect intro to Ben for my 7 year old.

  29. 4 out of 5

    z.diddy

    It was kinda boring at first, but it was okay. Magic squares sound like fun.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    A funny true story about Ben Franklin and one of his lesser known creations, the magic square. It describes many of Franklin's other great accomplishments as well during the course of the story. A funny true story about Ben Franklin and one of his lesser known creations, the magic square. It describes many of Franklin's other great accomplishments as well during the course of the story.

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