|Alexander Hamilton (Making of America)|
Author: Kanefield, Teri
The America that Alexander Hamilton knew was largely agricultural and built on slave labor. He envisioned something else: a multi-racial, urbanized, capitalistic America with a strong central government. He believed that such an America would be a land of opportunity for the poor and the newcomers. But Hamilton's vision put him at odds with his archrivals who envisioned a pastoral America of small towns, where governments were local and states would control their own destiny.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 8.70
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 188890
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 11.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 70648
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/17)
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 Gr 5–8—Kanefield has produced an informative yet accessible biography of the famed Founding Father for a middle school audience. The narrative begins with Alexander Hamilton's often difficult youth in the West Indies, where he gained his first lessons in the power of finance. The text covers his departure to school in Colonial New York City, his rising star during the American Revolution, his role in the development of the Constitution, and his fateful duel with Aaron Burr. Readers gain an appreciation for the messy political feuds that followed the Revolution, particularly between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists. Hamilton's crucial role as an industrial, capitalistic visionary is fully explored. Kanefield succeeds in revealing the differences among the various political and economic philosophies during the early decades of the American Republic, including the distinction between Hamilton's mercantilism and Thomas Jefferson's agrarianism. Relevant paintings from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries are presented throughout. These portraits, landscapes, and architectural images range in size from one-quarter of a page to a full page. Scans of primary documents, such as Hamilton's commission as treasury secretary, are also included. Key concepts, like the Articles of Confederation and mercantilism, are explained in sidebars. Some details, such as investments, loans, and bonds—which played a critical role in Hamilton's philosophy—can be difficult to grasp, and some readers may need further clarification. VERDICT Considering the staggering popularity of the Broadway musical Hamilton, students will crave this title. A great addition to upper elementary and middle school libraries.—Jeffrey Meyer, Mount Pleasant Public Library, IA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2017 Kids and teachers swept up by the Hamilton craze are undoubtedly itching for age-appropriate resources about the man himself. Kanefield has it covered with her new middle-grade biography, which opens with Hamilton’s fatal duel with Aaron Burr and then traces his humble beginnings in the Caribbean and through his military and political careers in America. The chapters are liberally illustrated with period artwork, portraits, and historical documents, and inset boxes offer explanations of key topics, such as the Articles of Confederation and mercantilism. Thoroughly researched and cited, this book is accessibly written and full of valuable information, though readers after a biography as lively as the musical may be disappointed or overwhelmed by its content. Hamilton’s personal life is touched upon, but the primary focus is on his staggering number of contributions as a founding father, from America’s governmental and economic structure to its foundational documents. Hamilton’s intelligence, ceaseless drive, and penchant for speaking his mind come across, giving readers a clear view of Hamilton’s character and his role in creating America. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.