From School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Fritz covers a lot of territory in this slim biography. She recounts the facts of Hamilton's life from his birth to unwed parents in Nevis, West Indies, in 1755 (or 1757) to his death in New York in 1804 in a duel with Aaron Burr. The book is divided into five parts: "Beginnings," "Soldier," "Aide-de-Camp," "Statesman," and "Endings," and highlights Hamilton's talents as an essayist and his influence in the creation of the early federal government, especially its financial infrastructure. Illustrations, period reproductions, and maps all add to the wealth of historical events brought to life by this knowledgeable author. For teachers looking for an independent read that supports curriculum, the book provides a richly detailed and eye-opening account of this important American's personal history. Its length and the illustrations suggest a young audience, but the language, amount of information, and organization of the text may require more mature readers or eager students of American history.-Karen Elliott, Grafton High School, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* Fritz, a notable biographer of the Revolutionary War period for young people, provides a brisk, well-written account introducing Founding Father Alexander Hamilton as an outsider to America. Raised in the West Indies, Hamilton traveled to New York for his education in 1773 and became immersed in the political turmoil that led to the Revolutionary War. Joining the army as an artillery captain, he became an aide-de-camp to General Washington and led an attack at Yorktown. After the war, he served in Congress, at the Constitutional Convention, and as the first secretary of the treasury before sustaining a mortal wound in a duel with his longtime rival, Aaron Burr. Fast moving and engaging, this straightforward biography acknowledges Hamilton’s flaws while portraying him as an intelligent, energetic man who rose to the challenge of his times. In addition to the black-and-white reproductions of period paintings and prints that illustrate the text, Schoenherr’s striking, engraving-like images of Hamilton as scholar, soldier, aide-de-camp, statesman, and duelist introduce each section. The appended section of notes deals with historical background information, rather than sources for facts or quotes, but a source bibliography is included. This lively biography sheds light on Hamilton’s character and his place at the nation’s beginnings. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan