Aaron and Alexander
Aaron and Alexander

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Annotation: Illustrates the famous 1804 duel between U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, both patriots during the Revolutionary War.
Catalog Number: #108407
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-596-43998-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-90249-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-596-43998-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-90249-7
Dewey: 973.4092
LCCN: 2015003616
Dimensions: 22 x 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
It can be fairly challenging to effectively communicate the historical perspectives and evolving politics of the American Revolution to elementary-schoolers. It can be even more difficult to convey the nuances and personalities of major players. This picture-book dual biography does a thorough job of tracing the lives of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton and accentuating the many parallel aspects of their upbringings. Both were orphans, exceptional students, soldiers in the Revolutionary War, lawyers (who actually worked together on a successful case), and high-profile politicians. It was politics that drove them apart and led to the notorious duel that resulted in Hamilton's death. Brown wisely chooses to emphasize personal details that will interest young readers, accompanied by just enough background information and brief, judiciously chosen quotes. Detailed pencil and watercolor illustrations provide many opportunities to compare and contrast, often through two-page facing spreads. Pair this with Dennis Brindell Fradin's Duel! (2008) to introduce students to these two patriots and spark interest in more in-depth research.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 3&11;5&12; Brown has taken on a formidable task in trying to present this controversial incident in American history to a picture book audience. Brown begins by describing the childhoods of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, emphasizing the parallels between their lives. Both were orphans, and both were extremely intelligent, entering prestigious universities at early ages. They even had similar nicknames, Little Burr and Little Lion. Both fought the British in New York and survived the winter at Valley Forge. Their political paths diverged after the American victory over the British, and the public vilification of Burr by Hamilton over a period of years finally prompted Burr to challenge Hamilton to a duel. At this point, history becomes fuzzy, as Brown details in his author's note ("The truth is forever lost to time."). Brown tells this troubling tale succinctly, capturing the drama and ultimate tragedy of the situation. His signature ink and watercolor illustrations support the text and reflect the historical period. VERDICT There is almost nothing on this piece of history for this age group, and young history buffs will appreciate this offering. Buy where there is potential interest.&12; Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 1,265
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 177225 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.7 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q67163
Lexile: 890L

The most famous duel in American history dramatized by leading nonfiction picture book illustrator, Don Brown. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were both fierce patriots during the Revolutionary War, but the politics of the young United States of America put them in constant conflict. Their extraordinary story of bitter fighting and resentment culminates in their famous duel. For young patriots who may not yet know the shocking and tragic story, Aaron and Alexander captures the spirit of these two great men who so valiantly served their country and ultimately allowed their pride and ego to cause their demise.

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