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Take the Lead, George Washington (Turning Point Books) Hardcover – January 13, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-5 - Part of a series that highlights pivotal events in the lives of young men who went on to become President of the United States, this picture book focuses on the impact a surveying trip had on Washington in his 16th year. The lively, engaging text presents an eerily contemporary childhood (lots of moving) and family life (siblings, half-siblings, dad as head of household, older brother as head of household, a strict and opinionated mother). St. George does a wonderful job of presenting Washington's can-do attitude and incipient charisma. He comes across as thoroughly likable, intelligent, and curious - the kind of person almost anyone would want to know. Large, kinetic, and humorous, Powers's watercolor cartoons extend the narrative well. The only quibble is that the picture-book format may well put off older students who would most benefit from the fairly high-level text. A final page gives a brief snapshot of Washington's life. This is both a sound companion to Roslyn Schanzer's George vs. George (National Geographic, 2004), which looks at the whole life through the lens of the American Revolution, and a solid replacement for the D'Aulaires' venerable George Washington (Doubleday, 1936). - Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. From the Turning Points series comes the story of George Washington, who learned the depths of his determination after weathering harsh conditions during his first job as a surveyor. The first half of the book covers Washington's early life. Visually, this section is confusing; the illustrations make it difficult to tell George's age (he also looks a bit like Ichabod Crane). There's also some poor wording, leaving the impression that the comment "What a good life" refers not only to George chasing chickens and playing with kittens but also to "watching the family slaves milk the cows." A page or two later, an odd picture shows George and a young slave boy laughing together while other slaves pick tobacco. Better is the book's second half, during which George, as a young man, surveys land in the Shenandoah Valley. Here, both words and art dramatically capture the hardship and chart Washington's personal evolution. A short biography and a bibliography are appended. Notes on the quotations would have been helpful. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Series: Turning Point Books
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (January 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399238875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399238871
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,836,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
I have read several picture books about the legendary George Washington with my daughter. Although, I don’t think I have ever read one that focused on this particular time in life; when he took an arduous month long surveying trip as a young adult. This may have been the turning point that gave Washington the confidence to pursue a military life, knowing he could survive harsh wild elements. Curious how he would compare this plotting expedition to that winter at Valley Forge? The only negative I would say about the story was its punctuation. Normally I am not a grammar snob, since I myself am far from a pro. However, many of the simple sentences could have been combined with the next to avoid starting them with “and” or “but.”
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Format: Hardcover
This book details George Washington's childhood and youth, and highlights the development of his character. It is a good picture biography -- suitable even for middle grades.

The character traits shown are:

good manners
good conversationalist/good listener
hard work to support a family
finding a role model
keeping your temper
perseverance
gaining respect through hard work and meeting expectations

There is a very brief biography at the back that covers Washginton's career.
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