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The World of Young George Washington

The World of Young George Washington

by Suzanne Hilton, William S. Bock (Illustrator)

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School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 An account of the first 20 years of Washington's life that explores his family life, his family's economic and social status, and above all, the social mores, education and knowledge, superstitions, medical concerns, household practices, and manners of a wealthy landowning family during the first half of the 18th Century. The only assurance of the authenticity of this information is found in short editorial statements at the beginning and end of the book, which claim that the account is based entirely on primary sources, ``facts and scholarly studies.'' If accurate, this biography manages to dispel fantasies that have grown up around Washington's boyhood and proves that there is little known about Washington's youth that would foretell his subsequent leadership role. One drawback is the abrupt ending; there is no summary evaluation of Washington to place him as an individual in the context of his times. There are a few undefined terms, and the lack of a bibliography is a serious weakness. The black-and-white drawings are unnecessarily babyish. In the book's favor is the abundance of rich detail, Hilton's refusal to romanticize, the clear presentation of material, and the insights into the research process that are provided in the text. Despite the reservations indicated, this book will be useful in libraries serving the upper elementary grades. For slightly older students, First in Their Hearts (Walker, 1984) by Fleming is strongly recommended. Tess McKellen, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn

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Walker & Company
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Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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