Monday, August 10, 2015

Noah Webster by Catherine Reef

book cover
Noah Webster:
Man of Many Words
by Catherine Reef

ISBN-13: 9780544129832
Hardback: 224 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books
Released: August 25, 2015

Source: ARC from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description from Amazon:
Noah Webster may be best remembered the enormous and ambitious task of writing his famous dictionary, but for him, this accomplishment was a means to an end. His true goal was to streamline the language spoken in our newly formed country so that it could be used as a force to bring people together and be a source of national pride. Though people laughed at his ideas, Webster never doubted himself. In the end, his so-called foolish notions achieved just what he had hoped.

Here, in the only account of Noah Webster for teens, the seasoned biographer Catherine Reef guides us through Webster's remarkable life, from boyhood on a Connecticut farm through the fight for American independence to his days as a writer and political activist who greatly influenced our Founding Fathers and the direction of the young United States.

My Review:
Noah Webster is a biography of Noah Webster for teenagers. The author told about Noah Webster's life, but she also explained enough about what was going on at the time that someone unfamiliar with it can understand how Webster's actions met a need and impacted the country.

Webster had political opinions and tried to influence people to support a strong Federal government through his writings. But he also loved words, and he wrote educational material (a speller, reader, etc.) before he wrote a dictionary. It was interesting to learn the political and social backdrop behind things we take for granted today, like how spellings differ between American and British English.

There were some illustrations of people, events, and books mentioned in the text. The book moved quickly and kept things interesting, which should appeal to teens. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting biography to those interested in history and words.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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