The Right Word: Roget and his thesaurus – Jen Bryant

Image from


  • Age Range: 7 – 18 years
  • Grade Level: 2 – 5
  • Lexile Measure: 590
  • Hardcover: 42 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (September 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802853854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802853851

EXCERPT from School Library Journal:
Those who have relied upon a thesaurus (meaning treasure house in Greek), either in print or through the tool menu of word processing software, will gain a greater appreciation for the reference tool in this beautifully designed picture book biography of its creator, Peter Roget. Bryant describes bibliophile Roget, taking him from a timid, studious child who was always compiling lists to an accomplished doctor who by 1805 had compiled the beginnings of the first thesaurus. Busy and exuberant, Sweet’s charming watercolor illustrations, layered over collages of vintage images and fonts, capture Roget’s passion for classification while also providing readers new opportunities for discovery (Latin translations of animal names, mathematical terms, and a plethora of synonyms). Expertly researched and well written, Bryant’s narrative not only details the creation of the thesaurus; it also conveys a sense of Roget the man: his shy nature, his keen intelligence, and his passion for knowledge. There truly was a particular blend of artistry and intellect that went into Roget’s book, as evidenced from a reproduced page from the original thesaurus. The book contains extensive back matter, including an incredibly detailed time line that goes into the man’s other inventions (the slide rule, the pocket chess set) and an author and illustrator’s note, as well as Roget quotations that are sure to inspire if not a love of language then at least a search for the perfect turn of phrase. An excellent illustrated biography.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

Rationale for Inclusion:
This charming book includes beautiful illustrations, and a warm introduction to a little known contributor to modern English. Topics like synonyms, antonyms, and inventions are included.

Hear The Right Word read aloud.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s