Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Noah Webster's Fighting Words by Tracy Nelson Maurer and Mircea Catusanu


Noah Webster, famous for writing the first dictionary of the English language as spoken in the United States, was known in his day for his bold ideas and strong opinions about, well, everything. Spelling, politics, laws, you name it—he had something to say about it. He even commented on his own opinions! With a red pencil in hand, Noah often marked up work that he had already published. So who edited this book? It certainly looks like the ghost of the great American author and patriot picked up a pencil once again to comment on his own biography!

My husband and I have been predicting a career in law or politics for a certain opinionated young lady we know. Perhaps we have a third option to consider! Editing books, articles, and even an entire language system may be right up the alley of someone who will happily make up reasons to argue with you.

I have been pleased with the ongoing trend towards picture book biographies, and this one is extremely readable, even without Mr. Webster's editorial comments injecting humor (unintended, I am sure). While I knew about Webster's dictionary, I did not realize he was involved with America's struggle for independence, so I learned a few new things as well. I may also want to try his trick of filling the walls with sand, to shut out the sound of screaming children...

A worthwhile addition to any school or public library!

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