Gr 7 Up Jefferson has been briefly described in a number of series biographies, especially for younger grades, but he has, surprisingly, been neglected as a subject for young adults. Bober's excellent biography does more than fill that gap. She presents a portrait of a very human, immensely gifted man who lived at the critical time of the formation of the American polity. An insatiable reader, he absorbed the learning of his time (happily the period of Enlightened thinking) and directed his energies to the law, the government, and the arts of living. His achievements in public life as well as in the private sphere were equally impressive. But Bober does not spare readers the sorrows and griefs of his family life, the criticisms leveled against his public policies, or the self-doubts, financial troubles, and sometimes tempestuous but always honorable emotional life of this charming man. Using Jefferson's own writings, quotations from contemporaries, documents and historical data, she has constructed a marvelously readable and informative biography that breathes life into an ``American hero'' and shows him as the person he must have been. Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, N.J.