Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Noah Webster & his Words

Noah Webster & his Words
by Jeri Chase Ferris, illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch
Houghton Mifflin, 2012.  Unpaged.  Biography

     Noah Webster, a farm boy, had a passion for books, learning, America, and, especially, American words. Although his father wanted him to be a farmer, he wanted to be a scholar. His father relented, borrowed money against the farm, and sent him to school.  He entered Yale University at age 15, and then became a teacher and writer, first to create an American speller, then an American grammar, and finally Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, which he completed when he was 70 years old.  Noah believed that the "first job of government is the education of its children," and he devoted his life to unifying and educating the United States of America and her citizens.  Jeri Ferris's text includes Webster dictionary definitions of various words as Noah thinks or speaks them.  The typesetting is in an antique font, and the pictures are warmly reminiscent of the early days of the Republic. A fine, eye-opening, inspirational biography of the founding father of American English.

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