Mesmerizedby Mara Rockliff (Author), Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)
How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France
“Mesmerized” is a story about Ben Franklin as he sets out to travel to France to recruit “help” for struggling revolutionaries. In France, he discovers many interesting scientific discoveries and amazing experiments. But one particular phenomenon has caught his attention.
People in France are talking about one Dr. Franz Mesmer who has discovered an amazing “Force”. A force that only Dr Mesmer can use to cure any ailment! People have been flocking to his residence for a cure by dozens.
But not everyone is thrilled by this miraculous force. Doctors who practice traditional medicine are furious. Their patients won’t take their medicine any more. All they want is to go to Dr. Franz and be charmed by his magical wand that seems to cure all their ailments! Indeed, it seems as if Dr Mesmer has uncovered a force that is not like electricity or a gas or hot air inside a balloon.
So what was it then? asked the doctors. They presented their dilemma to the king of France. Finally, the king decided to call the one person who could figure out this whole mystery… Ben Franklin!
I love how this story is presented and the layout of the pages. The authors choose to highlight the principles of the scientific method: Observe, hypothesize, test and supporting evidence. Through the means of this incident of scientific mystery, the author engages the young reader through these principles. The layout of the pages and art work pop out and clarifies how Ben Franklin carries out his investigation and clears out the mystery for everyone.
At the end there is a short write up with more information about the incident of Dr Mesmer and the discovery of hypnosis and Placebo effects.
A great real story to read about Ben Frankiln, about scientific method and a mystery to be solved.