Title: Noah Webster: Weaver of Words
Author: Pegi Deitz Shea
Illustrator: Monica Vachula
Publisher: Calkins Creek
Concepts: human resources, occupations, innovation, education, economics of conflict
Review: The name Noah Webster often brings to mind his famous dictionary, now published as the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Beside his work as a lexicographer researching languages and compiling words for dictionaries, Webster also devoted much of his life to writing textbooks, teaching spelling to the general public, and advocating for educational reform. Nicknamed “Schoolmaster to America,” Webster fought hard for free public schooling for all people regardless of race, gender, or class, and he also argued for the importance of small classroom sizes and sufficient books for every student.
With Noah Webster: Weaver of Words, Pegi Deitz Shea has composed an informative narrative that has just the right blend of historical record, tight writing, and intriguing tales to interest young readers. Also woven in are some important themes regarding the economic challenges of the American Revolution as well as the economics of public education. The striking oil paintings further add to the overall appeal of this engaging biography.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children