An Inconvenient Alphabet, Ben Franklin & Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution
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Do you ever wish English was eezeeyer to spell? Ben Franklin and Noah Webster did! Beth Anderson and the New York Times bestselling illustrator of I Dissent, Elizabeth Baddeley, tell the story of two patriots and their attempt to revolutionize the English alphabet.
Once upon a revolutionary time, two great American patriots tried to make life easier. They knew how hard it was to spell words in English. They knew that sounds didn’t match letters. They knew that the problem was an inconvenient English alphabet.
In 1786, Ben Franklin, at age eighty, and Noah Webster, twenty-eight, teamed up. Their goal? Make English easier to read and write. But even for great thinkers, what seems easy can turn out to be hard.
Children today will be delighted to learn that when they “sound out” words, they are doing eg-zakt-lee what Ben and Noah wanted.
“Both Anderson’s text and Baddeley’s illustrations are energetic and compelling… Deelytful and iloominaating for noo and seesuned reeders alyk.” ~Kirkus
The combination of bold illustrations, humorous anecdotes, and fabulous storytelling makes this true tale anything but boring…a delightful, relatable, and eye-catchingly illustrated tale… ~School Library Journal
School Library Journal’s Alternative Anticipated Children’s Books of Fall 2018 List
“Thought-provoking and entertaining.” —School Library Connection
“Engaging…A comprehensible, lively read.” —Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal: Fuse 8 – 2018 American History List
PSLA Teaching and Learning – Literature Review: Elementary List
A bit about the writing:
- Learn about the Chain of Inspiration.
- Take a look at Ben Franklin’s proposed alphabet: in his Political, Miscellaneous, and Philosophical Pieces; in Smithsonian HERE.
- About the journey of AN INCONVENIENT ALPHABET – Mining for Heart: “Revising for Heart”
- Critter Lit interview
- Melissa Stoller’s Blog interview – This Writing Life: Stories, Creativity, Connection
- GROG Blog Interview: Back to School with An Inconvenient Alphabet
- KidLit 411 Author Spotlight
- Tuesday Debut on Susanna Leonard Hill’s site
- Vivian Kirkfield’s Will Write for Cookies
- Lindsay Maeve Schubert’s An Author’s Two Cents
- Picture Book Builders review and interview
LIZZIE DEMANDS A SEAT: ELIZABETH JENNINGS FIGHTS FOR STREETCAR RIGHTS, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, Calkins Creek, spring 2020
“SMELLY” KELLY AND HIS SUPER SENSES: THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF AN ORDINARY MAN AND HIS EXTRAORDINARY NOSE, illustrated by Jenn Harney, Calkins Creek, fall 2020.