George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen From Both Sides


There are two sides to every story. Rosalyn Schanzer's engaging and wonderfully illustrated book brings to life both sides of the American Revolution.

The narrative introduces anew the two enemies, both named George: George Washington, the man who freed the American colonies from the British, and George III, the British king who lost them. Two leaders on different sides of the Atlantic, yet with more in common than we sometimes acknowledge. We are lead through their story, and ...

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There are two sides to every story. Rosalyn Schanzer's engaging and wonderfully illustrated book brings to life both sides of the American Revolution.

The narrative introduces anew the two enemies, both named George: George Washington, the man who freed the American colonies from the British, and George III, the British king who lost them. Two leaders on different sides of the Atlantic, yet with more in common than we sometimes acknowledge. We are lead through their story, and the story of their times, and see both sides of the arguments that divided the colonies from the Kingdom. Was King George a "Royal Brute" as American patriots claimed? Or was he, as others believed, "the father of the people?" Was George Washington a scurrilous traitor, as all the king's supporters claimed? Or should we remember and celebrate him as "the father of his country?" Who was right? History teaches us that there are two sides to every story.

Rosalyn Schanzer's book is an accessible account of one the most vital periods in American history. It is also a timeless lesson in seeing history from different points of view. The author spent two years researching books, paintings, cartoons, and descriptions of Revolutionary times. She uses art, text, and first-hand accounts to illustrate how history should never be reduced to simplistic conflicts between the "good guys" and the "bad guys." Her illustrations, and her engaging quote bubbles, bring the Revolution to life again, and allow the characters of the period to speak for themselves. Through its lively text, detailed illustrations, and fully authenticated quotes, George vs. George shines fresh light on both sides of the story of our country's formative years.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Explores how the characters and lives of King George III of England and George Washington affected the progress and outcome of the American Revolution.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Is yet another children's book about the American Revolution necessary? Yes, when the author writes in lively, accessible prose. Yes, when she is an accomplished illustrator whose vibrant, folk-art-style paintings expand upon the text. And, yes, when the book's imaginative concept is successfully executed. "There are two sides to every story," the author says in the introduction. The two Georges—George Washington and King George III—are the book's focus although, as the author points out, many others were involved in the American Revolution. She begins by describing their personal similarities, including the fact that Washington fought alongside the British Army during the Seven Years War. People's opinions of each man changed as the two sides became more hostile "Who could imagine that the fabric binding America to Great Britain was about to unravel or that the two Georges were about to become bitter enemies? Who could guess that George III would be the last king of America, and that George Washington would one day become its first president?" Through a series of contrasts, the author tells the story of the heightening animosities that culminated in war. By using both sides' points-of-view, she provides an objective approach that encourages readers to think and perhaps, by extension, to understand that there are two sides to every confrontation. The uncaptioned illustrations become part of the text. Visually exciting, they contain interesting tidbits, as well as quotes. This vibrant overview of a complicated subject will encourage readers to want to learn more. 2004, National Geographic, Ages 8 to 12.
—Ellen R. Butts
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A carefully researched, evenhanded narrative with well-crafted, vibrant, watercolor illustrations. Schanzer states that her challenge was to "-cram 20 years of history, biography, and philosophy into a picture book that kids could grasp and enjoy." She has been entirely successful. The introduction sets the tone, introducing both George Washington and King George III, mentioning their differing views, and noting that every story has two sides. The remainder of the book presents these two sides on spreads that alternate between the man and the monarch, with comparisons of the American and British governmental forms, views on taxation, the Boston Tea Party, and coverage of most of the major battles of the Revolutionary War. True to the author's intent, both Georges come off as decent men, with the interests of their respective countries at heart. The illustrations are amazing. Almost Brueghelesque in their detail, they show the major players as they actually looked. Speech balloons reproduce the exact words of the speakers, with appended "Quote Sources." This is a lovely book, showing historical inquiry at its best: consideration of both sides, a sound research basis, attribution of sources, and interesting writing. Written at a higher level than Jean Fritz's Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? (Putnam, 1977), this book provides the perfect meld of instructional tool and general-interest reading.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In an uncommonly balanced view of the American Revolution for younger readers, Schanzer places King George III in a better light than young readers-American ones, anyway-generally get to see him, while noting that neither side was innocent of rash actions or atrocities. Developing the theme that "there are two sides to every story," she begins by comparing the two Georges, finding numerous similarities in both their public and private lives. She goes on to compare British and Colonial styles of government (more similarities), then chronicles the escalation of resistance over new taxes into full-scale war, compares the rival armies' dress and general behavior, and finishes with parallel accounts of the Georges' later lives. Loosely basing her illustrations on period images, Schanzer paints small labeled portraits on rough canvas, which gives them the look of needlepoint, and adds actual, cited quotes in dialogue balloons. This carefully researched reminder that the Revolution was an "us vs. us" conflict, not an "us vs. them" conflict should be required reading for all young students of American history. (index, multimedia source list) (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792269991
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 60
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 10.75 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosalyn Schanzer is the award-winning author and illustrator of numerous books for young readers. An avid photographer, swimmer and adventurer, Schanzer lives in Virginia.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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