Children's LiteratureDuring the course of his life James Monroe served his country in many ways. In the Revolutionary War Monroe ably labored as an officer in General Washington's army. After the war, he was selected as an emissary to Great Britain, France, and Spain. In this capacity Monroe actively strove to negotiate complex international agreements that helped establish the fledgling American Republic as an accepted nation amongst the world's leading powers. On the domestic scene, Monroe worked as a cabinet officer in several administrations and was a vital member of the government during the dark days of the War of 1812. Ultimately, James Monroe was twice elected President of the United States. As president, Monroe completed his eight years in office with an uninspired but sound record. In telling the story of President Monroe the author relies upon a narrative that is heavily weighted in favor of a "names, dates, and facts" approach to history. While it is difficult to write comprehensively about a distant historic figure, Levy's reliance upon the nuts and bolts of Monroe's life tends toward dryness. However, this is a well- structured book and one that will be helpful to youngsters researching or studying Monroe's life. 2005, Lerner, Ages 12 up.
Greg M. Romaneck