Noah Webster's Fighting Words

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 5
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

Noah Webster, famous for writing the first dictionary of the English language as spoken in the United States, was known in his day for his bold ideas and strong opinions about, well, everything. Spelling, politics, laws, you name it—he had something to say about it. He even commented on his own opinions! With a red pencil in hand, Noah often marked up work that he had already published. So who edited this book? It certainly looks like the ghost of the great American author and patriot picked up a pencil once again to comment on his own biography!

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Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 5
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Picture Books
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction
Copyright 2017
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 40
Publication Date 2017-04-01
Reading Counts! Level 4.4
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF025190, JNF025200, JNF029040
Dewey 423.092 [B]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 710
Guided Reading Level T
ATOS Reading Level 4.4
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 187707
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Original artwork, Reviewed, Source notes, Starred Reviews, Timeline, and Websites

Author: Tracy Nelson Maurer

Tracy Nelson Maurer has published more than 100 titles for children and young adults, including many nonfiction books for schools and libraries. Tracy holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and lives with her family near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Find her on Facebook or Twitter, or at

Illustrator: Mircea Catusanu

Mircea Catusanu was born in Romania and studied painting at the National University of Arts in Bucharest. He now lives and works in New York City as a freelance illustrator and painter, incidental photographer, and occasional author.


  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices, Winner, 2018
  • ILA Teachers’ Choices, Winner, 2018
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2018
  • Teacher Magazine 50 Brilliant Books for Summer, Winner, 2017
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids, Winner, 2017



“[A] Monty Pythonesque tale. . . . The digitally processed mixed-media illustrations use collage and speech bubbles for an appealing, contemporary feel.”—Booklist

Publishers Weekly

“[A] boisterous account of a singular contributor to America’s linguistic legacy.”—starred, Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“[A] wonderfully clever and humorous depiction of Noah Webster. . . . Students of all ages (and adults!) will appreciate this brief, comical, fact-filled sketch of an American icon.”—starred, School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“[Maurer] has crafted a text that reflects Webster’s feisty personality and provides enough history to establish sufficient context for Webster’s work. . . . An attractive volume demonstrating that even words themselves have a story.”—Kirkus Reviews