This brilliantly written book explores the differences and similarities between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams and how they helped shape their cooperation in making a new nation. The book starts with a strong opening:
The true story of how one gentleman–short and stout–and another–tall and lean–formed a surprising alliance, committed treason, and helped launch a new nation.
Kerley uses that lively narrative voice through the book. She chooses strong, interesting words that make the text leap to life:
He lunged, parried, and skewered the policies of King George and his government.
Her quotations, deftly woven in, make the two men spring to life:
“You should do it,” Tom told him. “Oh! No,” John exclaimed. Any declaration he wrote would be severely criticized, for some delegates, he conceded, found him “obnoxious.”
I felt weepy by the end of the back matter, stunned with gratitude for the foolish and human but visionary men who built the United States.
Those Rebels, John and Tom, by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic: 2012.