School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-These biographies vary in quality. Jefferson starts slowly and introduces too many names and places in the first chapter. Once the authors approach their subject's teenage years, the book becomes more focused, and more readable. Jefferson's political career, from beginning to end, including his contributions to the Declaration of Independence, his participation in Virginia government, and his terms as president are covered. The caption on a political cartoon dating from 1804 refers to Jefferson's "rumored relationship" with Sally Hemings, but the nature of this relationship is not mentioned elsewhere. Holmes begins more lucidly than it ends. The first few chapters clearly cover the justice's life. However, the brief discussions on some of his rulings may be difficult for readers to follow. Webster is the strongest of the three titles. Melis does a good job relating what was happening in the lexicographer's personal life to period events. This book should satisfy report writers. All three titles include sidebars, reproductions of documents, and clear, captioned black-and-white, sepia, and full-color illustrations. While most libraries have other titles on Jefferson, such is not the case with Holmes or Webster. Consider these two titles where needed for reports.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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