The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
Young Peter Roget lost his father at a young age. Consequently, his family moved often and Peter had few friends. Instead, he had books and they became his friends. When he was eight, Peter began to write a book himself but didn’t write stories. Instead, he wrote lists. He started with lists of Latin words and English meanings. They helped him learn his lessons. Each year, Peter came up with new lists which also helped him as he learned about science and nature. He went on to study medicine and eventually became a doctor, but he kept on with his lists. He always was searching for just the right word, and categories of words became his passion. As time went on, his children convinced him to publish his book of synonyms.
Jen Bryant has clearly researched the life and times of Peter Roget, and she represents his work very well in this charming book. The illustrations and design of the book by Melissa Sweet are every bit as important to the overall charm. It might be considered difficult to get children interested in a book about the man who wrote a book of synonyms, but this book will enchant them.
September 15 2014
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers