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Children's LiteratureHow did a red-haired, freckled-faced boy who loved to read, spoke several languages, and played the violin, grow up to write the Declaration of Independence, become the second Vice President and, after a bitter political battle with old friend John Adams, the third President of the United States? This pleasantly written biography about Thomas Jefferson tells the tale in an easy-to-read style. In addition to Jefferson's amazing professional and political life, the book objectively discusses Jefferson's desire to eliminate slavery and why he didn't. Also blended into the discussion are aspects of his personal life, his adoration for his father, how he met and married his wife Martha, the grief of losing her and three of their five children. The book carefully discusses his subsequent relationship with Sandy Hemings and their children. The pen-and-ink illustrations give the feel of the era. Side-by-side timelines of Jefferson's life and world history of the time are a nice addition. This book is an excellent source for reports or those fascinated by history. 2003, Grosset & Dunlap, Ages 9 to 12.
— Ruth Buchholz