Title: George Washingtongeorge Washington [leighton]
Author: Marian Leighton
Illustrator: Martin Salvador
Pages: 239
Recommended Ages: 8-10
Star Rating: ★★★★

I think a lot of us (or at least the kids from my generation) grew up reading the ‘Great Illustrated Classics’. These were children’s versions of well known classics that had been greatly abridged and decorated with fairly exaggerative drawings.

Anyway, my point in bringing those up was to say that these biographies – the ‘Heroes of America Illustrated Lives’ –  have the same design. They have a nice number of chapters arranged in large, easy to read type, and have illustrations on most pages. These illustrations, I must say, are much nicer and more realistic looking than the drawings in the classics series.

So, on to the text itself. Although the book did not discuss the philosophical undercurrents of the American Revolutionary War, it did a good job at emphasizing the strength of George Washington’s character through his principled behavior. His own bravery, distaste for cowardice, desire to serve justice, superior managerial abilities, and finally crucial moral strength are all displayed.

This biography presents Washington’s life in a more story-like form than did George Washington – The Man Who Would Not Be King. It does not include any of the portraits or pictures of important locations. However, it did provide a much more thorough peek into George Washington’s life in between his two wars – the American War for Independence, and the French and Indian War.

George Washington’s mother was a querulous, controlling, manipulative woman (at least according to this account). His interactions with her were sometimes (understandably) laced with frustration.

Conclusion. Not quite as sober as George Washington – The Man Who Would Not Be King, but still informative.

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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