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Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of Our Presidents from Children's Literature on January 1, 2002

This entry in the well-written ‘Our Presidents’ series provides an overview of James Madison, his early years in Virginia, his shy and sickly early adulthood, his role in helping form the government of the young country and his early years saturated with revolution and rebellion. All illustrations are taken from art and cartoons of the day except for one of Dolley Madison. One-page sections feature the history of the flag and the Star-Spangled Banner, the incomparable Dolley Madison who established what would be the role of president’s wives, and the British’s setting fire to the White House. Sidebars add interesting facts and picture captions are informative and lengthy enough to inform casual browsers. Each book in the series ends with a glossary defining highlighted words in the text, a timeline specific to the president’s life, a complete table of presidents through George W. Bush with their home states, life spans, presidential spans, political party and the name of their first ladies. Included are a page of ‘Presidential Facts’ and numerous web sites and relevant suggested other resources, as well as an index. All in all, it’s a strong, informative, and very readable contribution to the literature about presidents for upper elementary and middle school readers.

—Susan Hepler

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