Benjamin Franklin: You've Got Mail

Benjamin Franklin: You've Got Mail
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
June 20, 2017
ISBN
978-1484713051
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If the Future has any remedy for this situation, do not hesitate to provide it. That is to say, Ike and Claire Wanzandae, HELP! HELP HELP HELP.

I am (perhaps not for long),

Benjamin Franklin

Ike Saturday has seen better days. For one thing, his pen pal, Benjamin Franklin (yes, that Benjamin Franklin), is the target of an angry mob after Ike's plan to help the Founding Fathers with some intel from the future seriously backfired. For another, he's decided to mail himself back in time with the help of his girlfriend, Claire Wanzandae, and it's not a particularly comfortable way to travel.

Once Ike tracks B-Freezy down in 1776, it becomes clear that his pal is less than impressed with the irritating, modern-day rescuer, partially because Ike has a habit of making things worse for Ben, and partially because Ben is incredibly cranky when not in the presence of numerous meat pies. Which speaks to another issue for the pair: they have no money, no food, and basically no plan for saving the country. But Claire won't be able to cover for Ike back home in the future forever, and the British are looking pretty impatient, so Ike and B-Freezy will have to come up with something quickly if they want to avoid an epic, history-destroying disaster.

In this hilarious sequel to Benjamin Franklin: Huge Pain in My... , Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel take Ike and B-Freezy's antics to the next level as this ill-paired (and sometimes actually ill) duo hold the future of the world in their not-so-capable hands.

Editor review

1 review
Goofy historical romp
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
After the adventures in Benjamin Franklin: A Huge Pain in My A**, Ike is worried about a letter he has gotten from his famous friend from the past... it says "Help!" Of course, now that mail can travel back in time with old postage stamps, Ike has his (now) girlfriend Claire send him back to Franklin. He ends up near the mailbox on Franklin's porch, but the house has been burned down. Immediately noticing that his clothing will make him suspicious, Ike gets himself outfitted with suitable garments and goes in search of Franklin to find out what is wrong. He finds his friend without money, so the two set up a snake oil business to fleece local coal miners out of their money to "cure" their black lung. Once they have a bit of cash, they manage to book passage to France, since Franklin's need for help stems from the increasing problems with the British. On the boat, the two meet Jefferson and Adams, and head off for an audience with Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Because they'd spent most of the trip inland eating oysters and drinking champagne, they all become violently ill right when they have the audience, and it's up to Ike to save the day. Will his impassioned speech be enough to get the colonists help and save his time from being wildly different?
Good Points

This is a goofy take on history that will be popular with fans of Kinney's Wimpy Kid and other irreverent middle grade books which celebrate potty humor and unlikely heroes. Ike is interested to travel back in time but doesn't have too much of a concept of what language and manners he should embrace, so he frequently angers people he meets. He refers to Franklin as B-Freezy, for example, and almost blows the audience with Antoinette before settling down and trying to fit in.

One of the best parts about this is Claire's letters from the "future"; she informs him that things are not going well, but also keeps an eye on any historical anomaly's that crop up. Once Ike returns, there are a few things that are different, which is a bit of an unusual turn for a time travel book.

Fans of Potter's The Left Behinds and Limbaugh's Rush Revere books will want to pick up these two books. For more accurate historical content, they can investigate Gutman's Flashback Four or Qwerty Stevens time travel books.
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