Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Poor Richard, James Daugherty has created a vivid and comprehensive picture of Benjamin Franklin, from the beginning of his life in Boston to his death in Pennsylvania eighty-four years later. Franklin is seen as apprentice printer, publisher, inventor, diplomat, author, political leader, educator, and most of all, loyal American. The book is divided into twenty short chapters, each highlighting an important point in Franklin’s life.

Franklin’s early life was spent in Boston as a member of a large family. He became an apprentice to his printer brother at the age of twelve. A quarrel with this brother, however, led him to run away, first to New York and then to Philadelphia, where he served once again as a printer’s apprentice. It was on his first walk through the streets of Philadelphia that Franklin saw his future wife. He also met Sir William Keith, the governor of the province, who wanted him to set up his own print shop and do all the government printing for the colony. Because of his youth and the fact that he lacked the proper financial backing, however, he did not attempt this endeavor. Later, the governor offered to send him to London to purchase all the supplies for his own shop. Although he made the trip, the governor did not make good on his promise, so Franklin obtained work in a print shop.

By the age of twenty-six, Franklin became the printer, publisher, and editor of The Pennsylvania Gazette. He...

(The entire section is 448 words.)