Noah Webster & His Words

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday hosted today
by Booktalking
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(pub.10.23.2012) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Jeri Chase Ferris
     and Illustrator:  Vincent X. Kirsh

haracter: Noah Webster

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "From the beginning, Noah Webster knew he didn't want to be a farmer like the rest of his family. He wanted to be a SCHOL-AR [noun: one who goes to school; a person who knows a lot]. And that is just what Noah did - he studied words all his life. Then, in a PIV-O-TAL [adj.: vitally important] time in American history during the Revolutionary War, Noah himself became a REV-O-LU-TION-AR-Y... by creating something completely new: Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language... This book ... CEL-E-BRATES [verb: to honor] just how it all happened."
T antalizing taste: 

   "Noah Webster always knew he was right, and he never got tired of saying so (even if, sometimes, he wasn't). He was, he said, 'full of CON-FI-DENCE' [noun: belief that one is right] from the very beginning." 
and something more: One of the assignments I gave to my 7th grade Language Arts students required using the hardcover classroom dictionaries, instead of an internet dictionary. After a lot of grumbling, the students actually found that they enjoyed finding the word and then looking at the others listed nearby (which is something the computer dictionary doesn't offer). Personally, I fondly remember perusing our family's gigantic dictionary which was too heavy for me to carry. 

The "More About Noah Webster" section at the back of the book states that Noah Webster "cared deeply about his children, and about the future of all the children in the new United Sates of America. 'The first job of government is the education of its children,' he wrote. And that's what Noah's words were meant to do."

I recently met Jeri Chase Ferristhe author of Noah Webster & His Wordsat a wonderful SCBWI conference at Oakland's Preservation Park. Congrats Jeri on your new book!


Ms. Yingling said...

My cousin and I used to have dictionary races to see who could look up words the quickest. Still not a bad skill to have.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

I love that! Dictionary races! Thanks for stopping by, Ms. Yingling

Christie Wright Wild said...

Oh, so fun! I would totally do a dictionary race. I might even challenge my son this week. I think I MUST get this book. I have a thing for biographies...

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Christie! Yes! I remember looking up words at school and writing down the definition, and I thought it was great fun. I think kids are missing out, so I think that's great if you do the dictionary race with your son!