Mesmerized by Mara Rockliff
Ages: 6 - 9 years
Illustrations by Iacopo Bruno
Grade Level: 1 – 4
This month, I’m looking for great biographies, and this is one of them! Ben’s in Paris seeking help for the American Revolution, and the French King asks him to investigate Dr. Mesmer’s magic. Evidently French doctors are furious that Mesmer’s taking their patients. His tools are a dark room and a metal wand. Using scientific method and the first “blind study” (literally), Ben figures out the real magic is from the placebo effect/the power of suggestion. Pictures/side comments make this a funny, fascinating read. The last 2 pages tell the true story. Example: Ben never met Dr. Mesmer. Gout made traveling so difficult that Mesmer’s assistant made a house call.
Whenever I read or write, I find a comfy chair with a great view. I get my favorite drink, stretch out, and let the words take me away.