Ben-picAbout Ben

I am a children’s book author (One April in Boston The Gift of the Spyglass) who, for the past decade, has taught the American Revolution to thousands of students through school author visits and private guided walking tours of Boston’s Freedom Trail. For more details, read the recent interview I did for Journal of the American Revolution. American history has been a lifelong passion of mine and I teach it in an enthusiastic, high energy fashion. For the past 15 years I have collected historic newspapers and rare documents, covering colonial America through the Civil War, and use these wonderful primary sources in both my tour programs and in the products I have developed for teachers.

For middle school programs, my teaching style emphasizes active engagement. I believe this helps students focus more on what is being taught and increases retention. It also keeps students interested and makes learning relevant and fun! Primary sources from my personal collection are shared so students can “hold history in their hands” and experience that history from the moment is was first reported/recorded. My middle school products provide online access to these same historic newspapers and rare documents. For high school level, my programs and products offer primary source access while encouraging higher order thinking skills: analysis, synthesis, evaluation and creation.

I am a relative of Paul Revere who has served on the Board of Directors of the Paul Revere House for 15 years. I first learned about the Edwards/Revere connection at the age of ten. My relative Sally Edwards married silversmith Paul Revere Jr., firstborn son of patriot Paul Revere. I tell students I work with that my life’s journey resembles the storyline for the movie National Treasure! I am the Benjamin Franklin Gates of the Edwards family. Clues passed down in my family from one generation to the next led me on a six-year journey of discovery about my early Boston ancestors. Along the way I located family records written in the hand of my sixth great grandfather contained in a Family Bible from 1708; paintings of my ancestors; furniture they once owned and more. What I learned during this process formed the basis for my children’s book published in 2000. Years later, the audio version of that book helped lead to a remarkable discovery - a treasure that, to me, was more valuable than the one in the movie itself. The tale of that treasure will be told in the revised second edition of my book set for release at the Amazon Kindle Store and the iTunes Store in the summer of 2014. I’m currently pitching One April in Boston The Gift of the Spyglass as a film or made-for-TV movie. To learn more, view this video.