Grade 5-8–This biographical survey opens rather weakly with an account of a latent Revolutionary War mutiny that Washington apparently squashed by putting on a pair of spectacles and thereby emotionally overwhelming his men. The unlikelihood of this episode grabbing young people is something to consider, as is the content that follows. The first several chapters dryly chronicle Washington's years growing up and rising through the colonial military ranks. Next, readers learn of his experience in the Virginia House of Burgesses, family life, slave ownership, and return to the military where his pivotal role in the American Revolution is, of course, featured. Ten pages are devoted to his presidency. Sidebars, period black-and-white reproductions, and primary-source references appear throughout. This title is serviceable, certainly, but there is very little to distinguish it from other average series titles on America's first president. Brendan January's George Washington (Scholastic, 2003) presents the same basic information in a more attractive and accessible format (with more useful appendixes) and Albert Marrin's George Washington and the Founding of a Nation (Dutton, 2001) is a richer choice for students able to handle a more sophisticated text.–Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
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