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Those Rebels, John and Tom
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Those Rebels, John and Tom

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  447 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
A brilliant portrait of two American heroes from the award-winning creators of The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)!

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different.

John Adams was short and stout.
Thomas Jefferson was tall and lean.

John was argumentative and blunt.
Tom was soft-spoken and polite.

John sometimes got along with almost no one.
Tom got along with ju
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press

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This is a wonderful story about the birth of America framed in the friendship of two of America's founders, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. I've been trying for weeks to find time to write an adequate review but it is not going to happen so suffice it to say this is one if the more satisfactory picture books on this subject that I've read (and I'm a big fan of this point in history) and I was very impressed with how well actual quotes from Tom and John are woven in. She manages to high
Jim Erekson
The stylized characterization based on historical sources was interesting. In a simplistic way, the writing complicated Jefferson's slave ownership. A caricature of King George reminded me of the short Schoolhouse Rock "No More Kings" video, and when I looked it up on youtube it looks like a lot of the illustrations were quotations of the animation. There's an old caricature that might hint at the origins. My favorite thing was the contrast between Jefferson and Adams in the writing, and Fotheri ...more
I enjoyed just about everything about this picture book biography that focuses on two of the nation's founding fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. In her usual engaging writing style, the author enumerates the many differences between the two men, ranging from their height to their upbringing to the way they handled those around them. But she also shows clearly how those differences didn't matter all that much once they found common ground in their hatred of King George and their love for ...more
Lauren Anglin
Nov 27, 2016 Lauren Anglin rated it it was amazing
1) Book summary, in your own words (3 pts)
This book by Barbra Kerley is a informational book about how our nation became. It is based off a true story about Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. It tells reader's about how they were growing up. They were pretty different. One thing they did have a common ground on was they both shared the same dislike for George. They also both cared a lot about the American colonies. With their differences they came together and came up with The Declaration of Indep
Like Worst of Friends this covers the relationship between John Addams and Thomas Jefferson, but this focuses specifically on how the Declaration of Independence came to be and ends there. I found the backmatter to be much stronger here than in Worst of Friends with a page-long Author's Note, a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, and direct and specific quotation sources. I thought the text was pretty good, but I found the main weakness to be the illustrations by Edwin Fotheringham. Th ...more
Dec 20, 2012 Ellie rated it really liked it
Delightful, illustrates the beauty of friendships where two people complement each other. Awesome to see this in some of our Founding Fathers. Great explanation of the Revolutionary War and the surrounding situations that led to it. Perfect for elementary school kids who are just getting introduced to the start of our country.
Gretchen Rosch
Nov 15, 2016 Gretchen Rosch rated it it was amazing
1. This story is about the alliance that is formed between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. John and Tom were very different. Tom was shy, John was not. They both cared deeply about the American Colonies and neither of them cared much about George. They thought together they could accomplish much more than working alone. Together they created the declaration of independence.
2. k-3
3. social studies
4. Students who enjoy learning about american history will love this.
5. In groups students can read
Stephanie Watson
May 19, 2017 Stephanie Watson rated it really liked it
Shelves: worth-ss-8-to-11
A really fun way to retell both the friendship of these two future Presidents and creation of the Declaration of Independence. The best part of the book is the illustrations - bright, bold, smart and funny. The text is also smart and funny, with a lot of short quotes from Adams and Jefferson weaved in.
Jun 16, 2014 Maureen rated it really liked it
Twin text: We the Kids, David Catrow, 2002

Twin Text: I chose We the Kids as the twin text for Those Rebels, John and Tom because the basis is about "those smart guys" who wrote the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft. Although Adams was not present when the Constitution was debated and passed (he was in Great Britain during that particular Constitutional Congress), he was an integral part in the founding of our country. We the Kids is a fun story with lovely ill
Jun 19, 2013 Kaycee rated it really liked it
"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." Those Rebels, John and Tom is a book that is an accessible explanation of the difficulties of the Continental Congress in deciding whether to declare independence. It follows the contributions of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, explores their differences, and describes how the ultimately came together in their common goal. The s ...more
Apr 30, 2012 Kris rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, childrens
Another excellent children's non-fiction book by the dynamic duo of Kerley and Fotheringham. I love how they work together so well to bring people and events of the past to life for children! This time, they take two leaders of the American Revolution -- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson -- and tell their story. Written in language that will appeal to kids -- and using a variety of font sizes to emphasize names and phrases -- this would even make a good read aloud for an older group of students. W ...more
Barbara Kerley, award winning author of The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins and What To Do About Alice introduces readers to founding fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two very different men united in purpose. The book also provides background on the writing of the Declaration of Independence.

This child friendly history book does a good job of providing the basics of who Adams and Jefferson were in history, as well as who they were to each other. Edwin Fotheringham's illustrations use a l
The Library Lady
I shouldn't have bought this because I wasn't crazy about Kerley's "Alice" book and I HATED the one with Suzy Clemens. And since this has come out right at the same time as the same time as Suzanne Tripp Jurmain's very similar (and far better) book Worst of EnemiesI can compare this and find it wanting.

The Jurmain book is just as engagingly written without becoming cutsey. The layout is clear and attractive. The color palette here jumps from one background to another from page to page making thi
Lu Benke
Perhaps it was the color scheme of gold, red, blue and white and cartoonish faces for revered historical figures on the cover that put me off initially, but ultimately I thought this an insightful view of two friends helping to create the U.S. constitution. To begin with, showing the human side of two boys growing up and establishing them as Tom and John let me know there was going to be an emphasis on these two men's personalities and the comparing and contrasting between oral and written style ...more
Nov 09, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Another fun look at the important introvert/extrovert friendship between founders Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (see also: Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud). I like the wordplay and limited-color illustration style in this one; it focuses more on the budding friendship of the two men as they crafted the Declaration of Independence, and only mentions their falling out in the thorough Author's Note. Their fighting and division of ideas after t ...more
Feb 05, 2012 Karin rated it liked it
This picture book tells the story of how John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were instrumental to United States History. Beginning with their early years, Barbara Kerley highlights some major events that led each man to Philadelphia that fateful day in 1775 when the Declaration of Independence was finally signed.

THOSE REBELS, JOHN & TOM focuses mostly on how opposite they were from each other. In fact, it was pretty much the pattern of the whole book.

John skipped school to fly kites and shoot m
Ashleigh Pollard
Nov 09, 2013 Ashleigh Pollard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different in nature, but had one thing in common, which was their love for the American Colonies. Both men were determined to fight for our country's freedom from King George, the leader of Britain. So, John used his power of persuasion and Tom used his skill of writing the Declaration of Independence to help lead our country to Independence on July 4, 1776. I was not a fan of the illustration style, but I felt the images fit well with the text. The illu ...more
Jul 17, 2013 Dona rated it it was amazing
Those Rebels, John & Tom is a biography for young children of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The text focuses on how different the two men were in physical appearance, personality, and talent. The two men saw the value and the need for each other's talents to prepare the colonies for independence from England. An issue at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence was slavery of the black African people in the colonies.

I chose Phillis Sings Out Freedom by Ann Malaspina,@20
Cari Williams
Apr 07, 2014 Cari Williams rated it liked it
Those Rebels, John and Tom tells the story of two individuals who a very, very, different on the outside and even morally but come together despite their differences to fight for the same cause, independence. John is short and stout and Tom is tall and skinny. Regardless of their looks, they lived life differently and at times butted heads. John was very talkative and argumentative whereas Tom was shy and didn't like talking at all because of his shyness. John was a farmer and Tom was a layer. T ...more
Claudia Margaroli
May 28, 2012 Claudia Margaroli rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It is about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and more specifically their role in America’s independence. It includes not only facts about their political careers but also their personal lives and friendship which make them more relatable to their younger audience. The illustrations are interestingly done in only red, blue, and yellow which is very patriotic, which is obviously a common theme throughout the book. I enjoyed the passage about Thomas Jeffersons weapon, the ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Audrey rated it it was ok
Those Rebels, John & Tom, written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham is a fun children’s picture book that tells the kid-friendly version of the story of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Throughout the book, John and Tom are continuously compared, and inside of the cover page it reads, “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.” I especially liked how the
Samantha Pendleton
Dec 02, 2013 Samantha Pendleton rated it it was amazing
This picture book is a fun way to introduce young children to American history. This book is about two of our founding fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. These men are two clearly different people which can be seen from the beginning of the story where both of the men and infants. Although these men grew up with different hobbies and personalities they came together later in life because of the love they both shared for the American colonies. This well-illustrated picture book follows Joh ...more
Clara Bowman-Jahn
Dec 21, 2013 Clara Bowman-Jahn rated it it was amazing
Why I loved it: The blend of history and biography is creative and imaginative. But Barbara Kerley made one important mistake. At the end of the book as the two friends were on their death beds she has them waiting for the fourth of July to die because that would be the birth of the country. In many other documents I have found that the birthday of America was the second of July and that we just celebrate it on the fourth. Otherwise the illustration and text are a marriage in heaven. I love how ...more
Briana Nelson
Apr 24, 2014 Briana Nelson rated it liked it
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had many differences, but in one very important way they were the same because they both wanted the American colonies to be free!! I was very impressed with the illustrations in this story. I am typically not a fan of historical fiction, but I really enjoyed reading this story because of the graphics. The illustrations were bold, and really drew the reader in. Although this story was a children's story, I think the author should've gone a little lighter on the tex ...more
Peter Besbeas
Apr 24, 2014 Peter Besbeas rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
This book was an excellent approach on teaching children about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The two are considered heroes that put aside all of their many differences (differences clearly defined throughout the duration of the book) to fight for the freedom of the United States of America (American revolution). I really enjoyed this book. This book provided a wide variety of hilarious differences between the two men (John and Tom). This books animation style was another extremely large posit ...more
Julie Esanu
A look into the long friendship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Author Barbara Kerely begins the book by highlighting the differences between these two founding fathers. Adams came up from humble means opposed to Jefferson's silver spoon. Despite these differences, the two shared a passion for the colonies and a hatred for King George. While the substantive text truly informs the reader, Fotheringham's fun and vibrant illustrations capture the reader's attention.

This book is great for l
Avery Maxwell
This book was a quirky take on Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. It told the story of the two very different men from an original point of view. Instead of just talking about how these two men influenced the creation of the United States, Kerley used key personality traits that both possessed to show a different side of them, not many know. I really enjoyed learning more about each man's individual personality and how that helped them to become passionate about setting America free from England's ...more
Feb 14, 2012 Joanne rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Who knew there would be another children's biography of the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams?

Like Worst of Friends, this one tells the story of how the two friends helped write the Declaration of Independence and steer the U.S. in its early days. The emphasis here is more on how the two were different and yet alike, as well as on the specific steps leading up to the Declaration. It does not spend as much time as the other on their enmity or presidency, though does bring up sta
Dec 10, 2013 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: t-l-544
Genre: biography
Copyright: 2012

The story tells how John and Tom made America become an independent country. They are very different people. John, a fat and short man who likes to talk, and good at debating. Tom, a lean and tall man who is shy but good at writing . They both deeply cares about American colonies. When they meets in Virginia delegation, they begins to work together in order to achieve their common goal, independence! They cooperate very well by bringing their professional skills to
Angelina Perez
37those rebels tom and john: this was a short story of two American heroes who were very different. These two men had one thing in common, they both cared about the American Colonies, and they did not care for King George. Both of them played an important part in the revolution. The words were very simple and easy to understand. This book would be great for younger children learning about the American history. I really liked the illustrations that the author used because they were colorful and t ...more
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Barbara Kerley was born in Washington, D.C. and has lived in many places, including Nepal and the tropical island of Guam. She has written about almost everything: 19th C iguanodons, Teddy Roosevelt, world peace, Mark Twain's donkey, and the pleasure of following your curiosity.
More about Barbara Kerley...

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