From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-An accessible, appealing, and informative look at the second president of the United States, "the stout, stubborn New Englander eternally bookended and overshadowed by tall, glamorous Virginians [George Washington and Thomas Jefferson]." Harness points out that Adams is one of the few revolutionary leaders for whom there is no monument. And she credits his numerous contributions as ambassador to France and England, both during the Revolution and later, and his role as champion of a strong and central government. She personalizes the text by recounting the great sacrifices made by Adams and his family during his long years of public service and includes quotes from his letters and speeches throughout. Details such as the supplies Abigail packed for John and their 10-year-old son when they sailed for Europe in 1777 are included. The author also points out what hard work it was to be a revolutionary as well as a diplomat. Large, colorful illustrations highlight points in the text, such as a painting of Adams, Jefferson, Washington, and Alexander Hamilton looking sincere and forceful. The book closes with an overview of world events during Adams's presidency, including Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. A first-purchase.Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-6. America's second president, John Adams, is often overlooked because he's sandwiched between George "the father of his country" Washington and the brilliant, multitalented Thomas Jefferson. Harness corrects that oversight in this concise, yet informative, offering that emphasizes Adams' public life and his important contributions to the establishment of the U.S. government. The oldest son of a shoemaker and farmer, Adams attended Harvard, taught school, and later became a lawyer. An active participant in colonial causes, he helped to write the Declaration of Independence
, lobbied for France's assistance during the Revolution, authored the Massachusetts state constitution, and served as ambassador to England before becoming president. After leaving office he remained active as an elder statesman, debating and exchanging views with his archrival Jefferson until the day they both died, July 4, 1826. Harness' warm, friendly, mixed-media illustrations, which range from full-color, double-page spreads to labeled diagrams to black-line silhouettes, will delight children, and quotes from Adams' letters, including many letters to his wife, Abigail, are a bonus. A fascinating book for young history buffs, this will also be great for classes studying the struggle for independence; there's even an illustrated summary of world events during Adams' term of office. Pair this with Alexandra Wallner's Abigail Adams
(2001), which looks at the other half of a dynamic couple. Kay WeismanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved