From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-Most children may know that John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence, but do they know about the other 55 signers? Each of these men had a life before, during, and after his historical act, yet most of them are unknown. Fradin gives brief, fascinating glimpses into the people who have been overlooked as well as those with whom readers might be familiar. This well-organized book is divided into 13 sections-one for each of the colonies. Each section begins with a brief history of the colony, including its industries, population, and notable persons during the years leading up to and during the American Revolution. A map and a chart listing the vital statistics of the signers complete the introduction to each chapter. Next, information about their backgrounds, their contributions to America's independence, and their lives after signing the Declaration is presented. None of the primary facts or dates has been neglected, yet the lively style of the text maintains readers' interest. The full text of the document is included. The black-and-white scratchboard illustrations are rough and rather crude, and reinforce the historical tone of the text. An excellent resource for report writing.
Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-7. This collective biography introduces the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Fradin begins by explaining how the document was written, approved, and signed. Each of the following 13 chapters offers a short history of one colony, followed by a two- or three-page section on the native son who signed the document. In support of that document, the signers pledged "to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." Some signers, such as Jefferson and Adams, rose to great renown; others paid a heavy price for their loyalty to the patriot cause. These short, cogent biographies illuminate the people and the stories behind the signatures. Including a cameo portrait and a scene from each man's life, McCurdy's excellent scratchboard artwork gives a sense of the period as well as a particular person. This well-designed book is an asset to American history collections. Bibliography appended. Carolyn Phelan
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