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

by Frank Murphy

Paperback, 2001





Random House Books for Young Readers (2001), Edition: 0, Paperback, 48 pages


Shows how Benjamin Franklin, inventor, writer and scientist, created a puzzle called the magic square to keep from being bored while serving as clerk for the Pennsylvania Assembly. Includes step-by-step instructions for creating your own magic squares.

Physical description

48 p.; 9 inches


0375806210 / 9780375806216



User reviews

LibraryThing member lc136067
This book is about Ben Franklin and all of his inventions. It is interesting i never knew that he invented flippers. This book talked about how Ben wrote and rewrote the Declaration of Independence. One day Ben was bored and started this math square where every side equaled 15.

This was a good book for children third grade and below. I learned a lot from it; it was a cute book.

In the classroom i would read this book aloud when talking about Ben. I would then have them draw their favorite invention by Ben.
… (more)
LibraryThing member maxi1
This story is about the clever Ben Franklin and some of his inventions, one being the magic square. Even as a kid he was always inventing and putting his brain to use. As he grew older he kept inventing and writing. In 1736, he becomes a clerk for the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly, a group of men who made laws for the colony of Pennsylvania. Ben could not write anything until these men agreed on something. One day he becomes board and decides to doodle a math puzzle. Thinking about this puzzle keeps Ben awake. Ben went on to publish his magic squares in his newspapers and almanacs. People loved working theses magic squares and they still do today.

This story is full of cute quotes along with cartoon like pictures. This story provides an interesting solution to get students reading and learning history. The last pages in the book give instructions on how to create your own magic square. I would recommend this story to anyone who loves solving these puzzles. I have tried but I’m not so good at it!

I would use this story in my class to introduce Ben Franklin. After reading this story I would have students to do more research on Ben Franklin. They would write a paper on his life and inventions. I would encourage them to discover other inventions of Franklins not mentioned in the story. As a class we would discuss what life would be like without these inventions. For a math lesson I would read this story and have students create their own magic square.
… (more)
LibraryThing member lpsinterpreter
This biography book waws very informational about some of the inventions of Ben Franklin. Ben Franklin took notes during the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly. When there was much discussion going on and Ben was bored, he doodles. While doodling, he invents "Magic Squares". Magic Squares are rows and columns of 3 squares each with one number in each square. Each row and column and diagonal row add up to 15.

I enjoyed this biography about Ben Franklin. It was very well written with information about some of his inventions. It had very colorful pictures that depicted the colonial days very well.

Give each child a sheet of paper with 3 squares in rows across, and 3 squares in the columns and see if they can make up a magic square. Have the students list some of his inventions.
… (more)
LibraryThing member cbaughman524
This book was about Ben Franklin and all the inventions he had made throughout his life, such as, a rocking chair, magic squares, the first library, and many more. The book was really long and had so much information on each page.

I thought the book was really to much information about what all Ben Franklin invented and I think the littler kids wood get tired of reading so many things. It really didnt focuse on the magic squares that much either.

I would have the children come up with a classroom invention of their own, and maybe write a paragraph about Ben Franklin and what they thought of the book.
… (more)
LibraryThing member matthewbloome
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.
LibraryThing member abrozi1
I thought this book was pretty good. It was well written with interesting facts about Ben Franklin's life and his inventions. After the brief synopsis of his life the book went on to tell the story of how he came up with the magic squares. It was also great, because it gave definitions to words that a reader might not know. For example, on page 20 the word clerk is brought up and because it might not be a well known word the book briefly defines it. The book also becomes interactive at the end when it tells the reader how to make their own magic square!… (more)
LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
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!
LibraryThing member ElizabethNagel
Summary: This is a story about the life of Benjamin Franklin, and his many accomplishments. How smart he is, and how he is always thinking, writing, inventing, and experimenting. Also the ages he was when he made these discoveries. Also goes into more detail on how he discovered the magical math square.

Personal Reaction: I like this book, it was very informational but in a very fun way for kids. This book holds so much information about Ben Franklin and his live and accomplishments. I also like the author's notes in the back on how to make your very own math squares.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Give your students their own magic math squares to solve and let them work in groups or individually.
2. Let them make their own math square, pick the sum of all digits and figure out how to make it, then trade with classmates to see who can solve each others math squares.
3. Tape off a big math square on the carpet and have cut out letters for the children to use manipulatives to solve the puzzle.
… (more)
LibraryThing member Tvickrey
A great more advanced early reader for children who are learning to read on their own. It has a simple story that weaves some historical truths into this fiction. Ben Franklin is a kid who is always inventing things and as an adult entertains himself by creating magic squares. A great fun read for kids who like history and the illustrations are caricature like.… (more)






(12 ratings; 3.9)
Page: 0.2747 seconds