Cheryl Harness Thomas Jefferson

ISBN 13: 9781426300431

Thomas Jefferson

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In her sixth presidential biography for National Geographic, Cheryl Harness illuminates the many sides of Thomas Jefferson: scientist, lawyer, farmer, architect, diplomat, inventor, musician, philosopher, author of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, and third president of the United States. Readers meet this extraordinary man of contradictions: a genius who proclaimed that "All men are created equal" and championed the rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," while at the same time living a life that depended on the enforced labor of slaves.

Readers experience an eventful life lived largely in public service, yet also enjoy the personal warmth of this fascinating historical figure. The narrative examines the crucial role that the "sage of Monticello" played in shaping the ideals of freedom and self-government, which became the cornerstones of American democracy. The author's conversational storytelling, her richly detailed illustrations, and use of period maps bring to life the exciting times of Thomas Jefferson on every page. This appealing and insightful biography is an honest, well-balanced portrait of a complex and controversial American legend.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.

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About the Author:

Cheryl Harness is the author and/or illustrator of more than 30 children’s books, including several picture book biographies for National Geographic. She has a natural talent for making history fun for kids, injecting the "wow" factor into the lives of America’s historical heroes and heroines. Harness has won multiple awards, and now lives in her historic hometown of Independence, Missouri. To learn more, visit cherylharness.com.

From Booklist:

Gr. 4-7. Harness continues her successful series of picture books about the presidents with Jefferson, who is more controversial than some of her previous subjects. Harness brings up his relationship with slave Sally Hemings in her introduction, but, curiously, almost drops the subject in the text. A somewhat larger problem is Harness' attempt to fit a huge amount of material into a relatively small space. Situations are truncated, and at times, readers will have to make informational leaps. That said, this is still a remarkable book; it gives children a sense of Jefferson's personality, his exceptional skills, and even the demons he struggled with as he tried to reconcile his belief that all men are created equal and his role as a slaveholder. Harness uses every opportunity to squeeze in more information, and her striking watercolor, gouache, ink, and colored-pencil pictures and maps add extra detail. There are no notes, and the bibliography is brief, but there's a useful time line highlighting Jefferson's world. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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9780792264965: Thomas Jefferson

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ISBN 10:  0792264967 ISBN 13:  9780792264965
Publisher: National Geographic Children..., 2004
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