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The Great Little Madison

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  485 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
In the days before microphones and TV interviews, getting people to listen to you was not an easy task. But James Madison used his quiet eloquence, intelligence and passion for unified colonies to help shape the Constitution, steer America through the turmoil of two wars, and ensure that our government, and nation, remained intact.u?An excellent, fascinating, indispensable ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 23rd 1998 by Puffin Books (first published 1989)
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Jan 30, 2017 David rated it it was amazing
The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz was a great book.This book was about the war of 1812.James madison had become president of the the united states.The Britsh was in a war with america again.James Madison had to flea the wight house because of the britsh.This book was very challenging to read but in the end a really great book.I recomened this book to people who like to read a lot about history.
Dec 14, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-blog
From my blog: http://kidlitaboutpolitics.wordpress....

This biography is written as if middle grade kids are thinking people. It's written for someone who wants to know about James Madison and the first 40 years of the United States. The book could be used to write a report, but unlike some biographies for middle grade readers, it could also be used by a student of history who loves to read about the people involved in the founding of the United States.

James Madison was a short man with a small v
Sara Hannon
1. Junior Book, Biography

2. The Great Little Madison tells the story of James Madison from his childhood to writing the Constitution and his presidency. It shows that a little person, with a little voice, can still do so much.

3. This is a wonderfully written book that gives the reader a great picture of what James Madison was really like, from his small stature to his small voice. The best aspect of this book is its voice. It is a history book that deals with a great deal of subject matter. Madi
Apr 26, 2015 Beth rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me by my Granddaughter who read it in her book club. It was a juvenile book honored in 1990. More history than biography, it gives substantial text to the history surrounding the life of the President who lived through the making and maturing of the US as a country. It was a grand review for me of what I should have retained from my school years. I relearned about the Continental Congress and the Constitution. The narrative included Patrick Henry and his challenges t ...more
Emily Parker
Oct 26, 2016 Emily Parker rated it it was amazing
Great little book about a great little man. I didn't know anything about Madison before, but now I know him well. In this children's biography, I realized that your youth is the time to prepare and learn, and when you are older you serve and make your place in the world.
I really liked the end because it became sad and nostalgic when Lafayette came back. Almost all the Founding Fathers were dead, but a few were still alive and could be together again. Thank you God for the Founding Fathers and t
A good little book for learning more about one of the great founding fathers of this nation. I enjoyed learning more about him, though the writing style wasn't as interesting as I would have liked.

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”
- James Madison
Aug 13, 2014 E rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Potential Problems: Can be a long, boring read at times
Personal Response: I found it interesting, but also a bit controversial at times.
Maya King
Sep 18, 2016 Maya King rated it liked it
This week, I tackled my non-fiction book of the semester, "The Great Little Madison", by Jean Fritz. In the novel, we follow the life of James Madison, who became the fourth President of the United States, a leader in both of the wars that he lived through, and a hero. With his friends, his wife, and his political stances, he really became someone that history had its eyes on. In the beginning of his life, no one had expected him to live very long, or amount to much, as he had a falling sickness ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Smeagol2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school, 2016
The Great Little Madison is a great little book. James Madison has always been my favorite president, but I knew next to nothing about him before reading this book. The story focus's on his entire life but zooms in on his work on the constitution and his fight against Hamilton and the other Federalists on how the new found country should be run . As the book progresses, Madison grows in his political career and his love for the country. He later marries a young, beautiful woman named Dolley Payn ...more
Joshua Krueger
Dec 09, 2016 Joshua Krueger rated it liked it
Review 4

What first caught my attention in The Great Little Madison was his love of learning - because I share that character trait. Especially our love of science. The book was written by Jean Fritz as a biography of America’s fourth president, James Madison. It is roughly 150 pages. The book summarizes the founding of America and its early history through Madison's point of view. It is a fun book about the commitment by the founding fathers to build America to be a country for the people. As co
Feb 07, 2017 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: key-of-liberty
Madison was a key figure in a crucial time of history who crafted the document that has preserved freedom for 200+ years. His ideas saved us from a monarchy, protected freedom from very articulate people who opposed it and protected the new nation.

Alexander Hamilton proposed that the new nation have a President and Senate with a life-term in office (like a king.) His ideas helped the delegates resolve to abandon the Articles of Confederation and see the Virginia plan, crafted by Madison, as a r
Dec 10, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
The Great Little Madison

1-Genre: Biography

2-James Madison may have been a soft-spoken man but that did not stop his voice from being heard. This book explains how Madison stuck to his passions and allowed others to stick to theirs as well, but Madison was still a man that could get things done. He was able to keep our young country intact, while insuring the rights of all.

3-(a) The author’s use of humor.
(b) It is very tricky writing a nonfiction children’s book and still being able to keep the
The Great Little Madison is a wonderful summary of an exciting period in American history. Beginning shortly before the Revolution and ending after the War of 1812, the reader learns that the country has been divided down party lines literally since it's inception. Though the founding fathers did not intend for it to be this way, there has always been political fighting, badmouthing, and lack of unity in the United States. Madison is one of the people who stood up for unity and freedom - even hi ...more
Jordan Davidson
Jun 23, 2015 Jordan Davidson rated it it was ok
Shelves: english-355
The Great Little Madison
Jean Fritz
Puffin Books, 1989

Summary: This is an in-depth biography of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. In particular, it describes the trials James Madison needed to overcome in order to become the fourth U.S. President and rise to fame as one of America’s greatest heroes.

Genre: Nonfiction.

Content Warnings: Slavery, racism, violence. Everything that can be expected with honest biographies.

My Opinion: This book was alright. It started off dry and b
Tara Kollman
Dec 03, 2013 Tara Kollman rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This novel was the first winner of the Orbis Pictus Award in 1990. This story, tells the tale, of The United States of America’s fourth President, James Madison. His life is detailed from the time he was just a small sick boy, to the time he was running for president having to face the challenges of the election process, to his time spent in the White House. He was small in stature and did not have a commanding voice. However, that did not stop him from gaining the Presidency. The book continues ...more
Evan Molin
This is a book about the life of the fourth President of the United States, James Madison. It ranges from his youth, to his contribution to the United States Constitution as well as highlighting many of the things he accomplished during his Presidency. In his earlier years he was rather sick, although it did not affect him from his studies. He was a very intelligent young man growing up, and by the age of 11 had read all of the books in his father’s library. Soon afterwards, he eventually attend ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Hollianne rated it liked it
The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz is a biography chapter book target for younger readers about President James Madison. The book takes the reader through each stage of Presidents James Madison’s life in each chapter. It starts out with Madison’s upbringing and growing up on his family’s plantation in Virginia with his many siblings. Then it follows Madison through his earlier schooling with numerous teachers, which finally lead to him attending Princeton, and his likes and dislikes of schoo ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
"The Great Little Madison" is a nonfiction book. This book is intended for children in the age group of intermediate. Before there were things like telephones or cameras, people had to travel by foot for everything, even when you are trying to get people to sway their vote to you. James Madison is a great man in history that stood up for what he believed in and made sure it was known. The book talks about great men in history and why they were called great.

I gave this book a rating of 5 stars.
Mar 10, 2013 Stacey rated it really liked it
James Madison started out as an unhealthy, little boy in Virginia. He went on to become a Founding Father, the author of the Constitution and the fourth president of the US. He commanded during the War of 1812 and showed Britain that America was truly a nation.
Really interesting, I guess. I was told to read this book in sections, and it helped. A lot of information presented in an entertaining way. I personally can have a lot of trouble reading nonfiction, but this book had an overall story that
Rachael Brown
Feb 01, 2016 Rachael Brown rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-1-10
Have you ever read about James Madison? He was a man that was there through the making of declaration and the constitution. His life is full of ups and downs that life brings to you. These were the days before there were electronics and many other devices. Less distractions brought great miracles. This book is about fighting through the tough times with the thirteen colonies.

This book is a great educational book for any ages twelve and up. James Madison was not what I have imagined h
Mar 06, 2011 Kursten rated it really liked it
This was a quick, easy read while being very informative. Also, I learned some things about Madison that helped me understand how important he was in the forming of the Constitution. He was one of the main instigators of the Constitutional Convention. He took detailed notes during the whole Convention and then later co-wrote the Federalist Papers to defend it. He stayed true to his beliefs in creating a Union between the states while fighting to preserve proper checks and balances between the di ...more
Sep 18, 2015 Mel rated it liked it
Before this book I didn't know much about James Madison. He took good care of his mom, who lived to 98. He had a weak voice, but still managed to give speeches. He was great friends with Thomas Jefferson. He was part of the Constitution Convention and was diligent in his work. He had a reputation of being a bachelor until he proposed to a very young lady. The age difference today would be frowned upon. Thankfully she was immature and turned down his proposal after stringing him along. Later he w ...more
Caelyn Pietila
Apr 30, 2014 Caelyn Pietila rated it really liked it
The Great little Madison, written by Jean Fritz is about James Madison, who helped the United States during his presidency. He helped construct the constitution, and this book can be used as a teaching tool during a social studies unit of American history. I would read this story to fifth graders, since this is an age group that learns about the presidents in elementary school. I would do a lesson on all of the presidents, and then to focus on president’s who truly made a difference in our count ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Tirzah rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
"Little Jimmy" was my one and only historical crush. It was seventh or eighth grade while reading about James Madison's influential role in American history when I kinda sorta fell for him. He was a short, quiet men and yet made such an impact on shaping our country. The history book of course only talked about his role in The Federalist Papers and Constitution, but I wanted to know more about his life. Therefore, my mom found Jean Fritz's biography and I read it with great interest. It is writt ...more
Lauren Ward
Jul 20, 2015 Lauren Ward rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-13-25
This is a non-fiction novel about James Madison. The story covers his personal life as well as his political life and achievements. This biography was well organized and put together. Have shorter chapters helped in digesting the material in smaller portions. Learn all about how James Madison was raised, his early career years, to writing the Federalist papers, the Constitution then his presidency.

I enjoyed this book. There were parts that were difficult to get through but I did enjoy learning
Klarissa-sue Isaak
This is a nonfiction book about James Madison's life. In this book you learn that James was a small man with a high pitched voice, and wasn't well respected like his friend, Thomas Jefferson. James used his communication skills to unify the colonies. He helped shape the Constitution, and steer America through two wars.
I liked this book because it made a man who lived a long time ago very human and relatable. It was historically accurate and gave life to the man who we don't really talk about in
Natalie Quinn
May 09, 2012 Natalie Quinn rated it really liked it
Children enjoy reading biographies about U.S. Presidents and other political leaders. This particular one is about the fourth President of the United States, James Madison. Talks a lot about how different things were during those times and even though it wasn't easy to get people to listen to your political views, Madison was able to overcome that and still get his voice heard. I think this would be great to include in a fifth grade class or possibly younger, but it does go along with the fifth ...more
May 03, 2009 Natalie rated it really liked it
James Maddison was a small sick man. He was a very learned man, and had a great education. He got to go to collage and study, but, he got ill and had to go home for fear of dying. He soon took interest in politics because of his good friend Thomas Jefferson. He tried politics himself but, people didn't believe in him because of his size and stature. But James Maddison proved them wrong. Even though he was small he made a big difference in the world. I loved this book it was one of my favorite th ...more
Chris Henrichsen
A nice look at Madison and the Founding

This book is a nice intro to the American Founding for middle school students. While focused on James and Dolley Madison, the book covers in accurate detail the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention, the early presidential administrations, The Louisiana Purchase, and the War of 1812. I read it with a small group of 7th graders. It kept their attention and led to some good discussions. Great for a program like mine that blends ELA and soci
Jun 29, 2015 Meegan rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting and whether I wanted to or not, I learned something. Jean Fritz’s writing style is very interactive with the readers which is accomplished by questions about what happens next. These questions could be used in a classroom setting developing a child’s thought process along with learning about history. I would recommend this book to fifth to seventh graders. My only complaint was that the book could have been formatted in an even more interactive way to make the info ...more
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Jean Fritz is a children’s author who has a fascination with writing historical fictions. She was born on November 16, 1915, in Hankow, China to missionary parents. After living in China for 13 years, Fritz and her family moved back to the United States. Beginning her career with an English degree, Fritz became an award-winning and respected author. She has received an honor for every book that sh ...more
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