A Picture Book of Alexander Hamilton

Holiday House. Dec. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823439614.
K-Gr 4–This picture book biography describes Alexander Hamilton’s childhood, his role in the American Revolution, and his death by dueling with Aaron Burr. Adler also explains Hamilton’s role in the newly formed government as the Secretary of the Treasury. The colorful and expressive illustrations add visual context for the defining scenes in Hamilton’s life. In one scene that stretches across two pages, Hamilton leads a group of soldiers into battle as a captain in the Continental Army. A few pages later, Hamilton is pictured at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. He represented New York State and heavily contributed to the 80 essays called “The Federalist Papers.” Fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical will appreciate learning more about Hamilton’s life, especially his childhood. A time line of important events is located at the back of the book. Several key events are not mentioned, such as Hamilton’s appointment as the first treasury secretary of the United States in 1789. This could either confuse readers or make them want to conduct further research. However, this is a solid biography for upper elementary students.
VERDICT Readers looking for a short biography of Alexander Hamilton will appreciate this engaging work.

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