Patrick Henry: Firebrand of the Revolution by Nardi Campion, Reading Level is 5.6

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“Firebrand” is an engaging biography of a pivotal figure in America’s fight for independence.

A reviewer from Goodreads writes “This is an older biography of Patrick Henry (1961), with target audience of middle school/junior high. Overall, this was a really excellent read, with plenty of details about Henry’s life and career, but not too overwhelming. It’s written to engage younger readers, so there is some dialogue and little anecdotes along the way, but most of these stories added to the character development of Henry, helping us to see what shaped him throughout his younger years and even as an adult.”

Pioneers of Freedom by McAlister Coleman

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In simple, vigorous fashion, and in a style so clear that it can be read with pleasure by high school students, Mr. Coleman tells the stories of nine men and one woman whom he has chosen as the outstanding leaders of the forces of democracy in America. Some of them are known to every schoolboy, a few of them have almost been forgotten, but all of them again glow with life in these vivid pages.

Here they are — Jefferson, Paine, Wendell Phillips, ‘Gene Debs and the rest—leaders of American democracy. Unforgettable portraits of great men who have pointed the way to a new America.

Jenner vaccinating a boy

Edward Jenner and Smallpox Vaccination by Irmengarde Eberle

His Discoveries Saved Millions of Lives

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With Calibre, you and your students can read this ebook in epub format on computer screens. By changing the background color, and enlarging the font, the reading experience on a computer screen is reasonable. On Chromebooks, you will need to use Google Play Books. Calibre is not available for Chromebooks.

 

 

Image of Joseph Lister

Master Surgeon–A Biography of Joseph Lister by Lawrence Farmer

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It has been said that there are only two periods in the history of surgery: before Lister and after Lister. In this full-length biography, Laurence Farmer tells the fascinating story of the brilliant, dedicated man who developed the revolutionary concept of antiseptic surgery.

The reader is given a vivid picture of the deplorable hospital conditions of the mid-nineteenth century, and the strong resistance to change that existed even among the most distinguished medical men of the day. Against this background, Joseph Lister’s long struggle to prove his theories about hospital infection and to achieve their acceptance by his colleagues stands out in dramatic relief.

Although the majority of the book is devoted to Lister’s career as a surgeon and researcher, there are many interesting details of his Quaker family background, his education, and his unusually happy marriage. Lister emerges not only as a great scientist, but as a human being of dignity, strength, and tenderness.

Grade Level is 10.8 using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test with three sample chapters.

The Curies and Radium by Elizabeth Rubin

Grade Level on the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale is 6.4. Download an epub version for your Android tablet or phone:

Download a mobi file for your Kindle device: PIERRE and MARIE CURIE are perhaps the most remarkable husband-and-wife team in the history of science. Together they set out to isolate the mysterious radioactive substance in the masses of pitchblende ore available to them in the old shed that was their laboratory. It was back-breaking work, but Marie and Pierre kept at it. Finally, they obtained a product whose radiation was four hundred times greater than that of uranium! Marie called the new element Polonium, after her beloved native Poland. Later, they isolated their famous element radium — nine hundred times as active as uranium! Pierre’s brilliant career was cut short by his tragic death in 1906, but Marie went on with their courageous work alone. In 1911, she received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radium. True, it was Marie’s long exposure to radium and X-rays that caused her death. But out of her death came life, for radium is one of modern medicine’s greatest life-savers. The basic idealism and determination of the Curies are captured for budding scientists to ponder. Scientific language is suitable for young readers.

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The Kindle Personal Document Service allows teachers, or librarians to send a mobi file to up to 15 student Kindle email addresses at a time.

With Calibre, you and your students can read this ebook in epub format on computer screens. By changing the background color, and enlarging the font, the reading experience on a computer screen is reasonable.

 

Cover with Image of Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday: From Errand Boy to Master Physicist by Harry Sootin

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The life story of one of the leading scientists of the last century whose experiments led to the development of the dynamo, the electric motor, and to an industrial revolution.

Michael Faraday, son of a blacksmith, was appren­ticed at fourteen to a bookbinder in whose shop he gained most of his education and acquired an interest in science—from the Encyclopedia Britannica. That interest changed and dominated his entire life, and led from errand boy to Fellow of the Royal Society.

Faraday attracted the attention of Sir Humphry Davy, a Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institu­tion, who hired the boy as a laboratory assistant. Fara­day worked with the professor on chemical research for a number of years. He discovered benzene, butylene and the acids of naphthalene, but he never lost interest in electricity and conducted thousands of ex­periments in an effort to turn electrical energy into mechanical motion. Fie invented the first primitive dynamo and equally primitive motor, and made the first generator.

For forty years Faraday lived and worked in his rooms and laboratory at the Royal Institution. When Queen Victoria learned that he and his wife were finding it difficult to climb the stairs to their attic rooms, she presented him with one of the houses in Hampton Green Court.

Faraday was a simple man, proud and sensitive. He loved his work and refused many commercial offers that would have made him a fortune. He also refused a knighthood from a grateful country to whom he brought honor and glory as its leading scientist. Fie did. through the help and urging of his friends, accept a Fellowship in the Royal Society, and he finally ac­cepted a pension, though this precipitated the kind of publicity he had sought so hard to avoid all his life.

Today his laws of electrolysis are part of every mod­ern textbook in chemistry and physics, and the unit of electric capacity, the Farad, was named for him.

Book Cover with the Image of Dr. Salk

The Polio Man: The Story of Dr. Jonas Salk by John Rowland

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“Absorbing book . . . Young teenagers who read it will come away with a profound respect for the modest doctor.”—Kansas City Star

“Inspiring biography . . . conveys to the reader the personal rewards of a life devoted to science.”—Booklist

“Includes good background history of early-polio epidemics, theories, and work still in progress . . . approach is authoritative and objective.”—Library Journal

“He read everything he could lay his hand on,” a teacher of young Jonas recalled—and indeed Dr. Salk’s interest in great medical problems goes back to his student days in New York City. Even then he was fascinated by the mysterious virus and its role ill infantile paralysis.

On April 12, 1955, it was announced to the world that Dr. Jonas Salk had successfully tested a polio vaccine. A true man of Science, Dr. Salk had not minded the long hours of hard work in the laboratory which led to that exciting day, because he believed in the importance of his goal. By 1956 over 50 million people had been vaccinated and Dr. Salk’s fame had spread everywhere— to England, Poland, Hungary, Israel.

Dr. Salk is a great scientist but he is also a great humanitarian and fame has not lessened by his desire to serve mankind and carry on his struggle against disease. Readers who have yet to choose their life’s goal will find Dr. Salk’s story a challenge and an inspiration.

Photo of WEB DuBois

W.E.B. Du Bois: His Was the Voice by Emma Gelders Sterne (For Young Adults)

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Teacher, social scientist, historian, poet, prophet—his was the voice that demanded equality, respect and dignity for the black man in a society that denied his humanity.

The memory of Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois is as important to the past and future of this country as any revolutionary figure before or since. Yet for years he was unknown to white America and, as a victim of the McCarthy witch hunts of the fifties, rejected by his countrymen. In this dramatic, candid biography, Emma Gelders Sterne presents W. E. B. Du Bois to a new generation that is entitled to the truth about the black man who cried “Freedom Now!” and “Black Power” when no one was willing to listen.

Drawing from the private papers of Du Bois himself, his publications, and the confidences of those who knew and worked with him, Mrs. Sterne has written an unconventional story that reads like fiction but tells the little-known facts of a fascinating life. Thanks to the support of Dr. Herbert Aptheker, Du Bois’ close friend and literary executor, Mrs. Sterne was allowed to examine unpublished materials by and about Du Bois.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Massachusetts in 1868, three years after the emancipation of the slaves. His entire life was devoted to freeing those former slaves and their offspring from the burden of second-class citizenship. A brilliant scholar and orator who was graduated with honors from Fisk, Harvard, and the University of Berlin, Du Bois was a pioneer social scientist, champion of the emerging African nations, and a founder and controversial member of the NAACP.

He wrote nineteen books, hundreds of articles and poems, and created and edited two literary magazines. But most remarkable of all was W. E. B. Du Bois the man: a uniquely American patriot and prophet who, denied the right to return to his homeland, died in exile in Ghana in 1963—still a revolutionary at the great age of ninety-five.

A testimonial from a librarian:

“To the youth of today (and those of age who engage in creative thinking) from a librarian who believes in the power of the ‘word . . .’ ”

“I urge you to read this book. It will make you think. William Du Bois searched all of his life for directions that black and other Americans should take. I do not agree with some of the directions he has suggested and you may or may not! But he has anticipated this reaction and left an answer: ‘What I have done well will live long and justify my life. What I have done ill or never finished can now be handed down to others.’

“He was a man who was jailed by his government and refused entrance to the land of his birth. He was ignored by the people he sought to help and yet he left another message especially for you: ‘One thing I charge you. As you live, believe in life. Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller lives….’ ”

Harriett B. Brown
Supervisor of Libraries
Board of Education, New York City

The Author:
EMMA GELDERS STERNE, a former teacher and editor, has written more than twenty books in the past forty years, including Mary McLeod Bethune; Benito Juarez, Builder of a Nation; I Have a Dream; and They Took Their Stand. The recipient of many awards over the years, she was honored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, which established a children’s fund in her name.

Cover with Image of Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, the First Civilized American by Phillips Russell

Let it be said at once that this book, whatever its de­fects, is absorbingly interesting.

The author, obviously, is thoroughly acquainted with Franklin literature and has had access to a great mass of unpublished material. But in a sense it is not a biography. Rather it is a picture, an excellent pen-picture, which even with its exaggerated light and shade may well give one a better understanding of the fascinating personality of America’s first diplomat, inventor and man of letters to say nothing of the many other things he was “first” in.

Franklin was essentially an unconventional character. He was never content to accept things as they were and always examined everything with his keen intelligence and more often than not, apparently, succeeded in rearranging facts in such new forms that they astounded the people of his generation. Many of his inventions, his humorous, semiphilosophical treatises, his excursions into common-sense diplomacy and his positive genius for publicity estab­lished precedents, whose originality it is hard now for us to realize, since they are very part and parcel of our present day American life.

To read this ebook on a computer using Readium, or for Google Play Books, or iBooks on your tablet or iPad, download this epub format.

To read on a device from Amazon, here is the ebook in mobi format.

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The Kindle Personal Document Service allows teachers, or librarians to send a mobi file to up to 15 student Kindle email addresses at a time.

Thus the author makes a charge that Franklin’s popular “Poor Richard” maxims, the result of his hard work and somewhat unsuccessful early career, “well nigh drove out from the spirit of the American people all tendency to a love for leisure and a cultivation of the graceful arts, made it its literature didactic, and its arts timid.” In fact, “it established a rock of philosophic materialism.” This may, in a measure, be true, but one suspects that his maxims were a symptom rather than a cause. Certainly Franklin, as the author is careful to point out, was not entirely success­ful in following his own precepts, or even the thirteen prin­ciples of the art of virtue, which it is suggested were per­haps inspired by Franklin’s hottest appreciation of his own defects.

But Franklin’s frailties as set forth by the author are very human. Certainly they do not seriously impair the true measure of his greatness or achievement. If he was fond of women, he was frank about it and if his whimsical humor was sometimes broad, it was more often than not, utilized to further the essentials of Franklin’s philosophy to “do good.” When one realizes how unbelievably limited were the intellectual resources in the colonies when Franklin began his career as a printer’s apprentice in Boston, the story of his rise to such heights as a world figure in the most cultured center of Europe has more the quality of romance than reality. During his ten-year stay in Paris he became the idol of the intellectuals. His face in bronze and marble was everywhere and his fame was only shared with Voltaire. The two met as guests of honor at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences where they embraced one another at the insistent demand of the members. Yet with all this honor he remained the same whimsical, tolerant spirit, making love to many younger women, carrying on his experiments, running hs own interpretative printing press at Passy and wheedling millions of francs out of the French Government for the benefit of his native land.

Over half this book is devoted to Franklin’s earlier life and struggles. The real achievements of his career are sketched, sometimes summarily, in the later chapters, yet it is a merit of this book that the author manages in good measure to reveal the fundamental reasons for his rise to a position as one of the great men of his times.

Publishers have brought the book out in a most attractive form. The illustrations are well chosen and in many cases new and include reproductions of a number of interesting letters.

From a review in The Michigan Alumnus, Volume 33, 1927.

(Publisher’s Note: The first text which the reader will see is “A Prefactory Catechism,” a term we don’t see too often. Essentially it is four pages of questions and answers about the basic facts of Franklin’s life. Don’t let unusual feature stop you from enjoying the book. The writer makes Franklin and his times come alive in the chapters which follow.)

BooK Cover with Photo of Edison Sitting

Thomas Edison: American Inventor by Ray Eldon Hiebert and Roselyn Hiebert

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A self-made man with little formal education, Thomas Edison had a remarkable mind and possessed the imagination, creative ability, self-confidence, and perseverance to succeed brilliantly in his field. It was he who perfected the incandescent electric bulb, improved on the telephone, made the first phonograph, and pioneered motion pictures. The list of his other inventions is long.
His traits were so common to the traditional American character of his day that he can right¬fully be called “an American inventor.” Most important was his ability to work hard. From the time he was twelve years old until-he reached his middle eighties he worked, often day and night. By trial and error he patiently attacked problems until he found their solutions. With his men he perfected the teamwork approach to systematic research. His laboratories at Menlo Park and West Orange, New Jersey, were the early models for the huge industrial research and development institutions of today.
In a biography rich with anecdote, Roselyn and Ray Eldon Hiebert present an unforgettable picture of this lively and colorful man—a true rugged individualist.