Friday, July 4, 2008

Duel: Burr and Hamilton's Deadly War of Words

Fradin, Dennis Brindell. 2008. Duel: Burr and Hamilton's Deadly War of Words. Illustrated by Larry Day.

I honestly never thought I'd see a picture book about the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. When I first read about the duel back in school--eighth or ninth grade--or whatever, I must admit it was one of the more intriguing, more interesting aspects of American history. Made even more *fun* (if fun is the proper word) by this Got Milk commercial which was brand new and oh-so-much-fun.

So on to the book review. I liked it. It was clear. It was straight-forward. It was interesting. It was informative. I can't say that I loved, loved, loved the illustrations. But they were nice enough. (Just because I like a slightly different style of illustration doesn't mean these aren't good.) Perhaps if I hadn't just read (and reviewed) Lady Liberty by Doreen Rappaport with illustrations by the incredible Matt Tavares, then I wouldn't have felt they were lacking a little something.

Just because I'm reviewing it here doesn't mean it's a picture book for young readers however. This one is not really a picture story book for young ones. It's for those in mid to upper elementary school perhaps. The reader needs to have some grasp of history in order to enjoy this one. (As opposed to first graders who don't really "get" that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. all lived at different times. These are the folks that most often than not will either answer Lincoln or Washington when asked who the president is.)

Apparently, I didn't realize how popular a story this actually was. (Who knew that there were reenactments going on???) And look at this: legos fun!

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