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Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider
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Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Acclaimed biographer Jean Fritz writes the remarkable story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's most influential and fascinating founding fathers, and his untimely death in a duel with Aaron Burr.

Born in the British West Indies, Hamilton arrived in New York as an "outsider." He fought in the Revolution and became Washington's most valuable aidede- camp. He was there w
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Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 6th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
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Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
83rd out of 167 books — 675 voters
Cinderella's Dress by Shonna SlaytonThe Princess Diaries by Meg CabotChains by Laurie Halse AndersonForge by Laurie Halse AndersonAlexander Hamilton by Jean Fritz
Best Tween Travel Books -- NYC
5th out of 8 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

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Barbara
In her usual fashion with engaging text based on research, Jean Fritz brings to life another wonderful man from the colonial period--Alexander Hamilton. Having endured several losses as a child, Hamilton joins George Washington in the nation-to-be's fight against the British. Fritz relies on some of Hamilton's actual words to make readers feel as though they are right by his side, and she has a clever way of making great men seem more human as she describes the foibles of Washington, Hamilton, a ...more
Josiah
So, how much do you know about Alexander Hamilton? I have to say that he really wasn't someone we learned a whole lot about in grade school. Of course, many of America's founding fathers aren't taught about in school as much as others. Most everyone learns about the life and times of George Washington from an early age, and the legend of Benjamin Franklin is expounded upon in the classroom nearly as soon, but some heroes of the American Revolution just aren't really talked about in school. Jame ...more
Beth G.
Noted autor Jean Fritz turns her keen eye for historical detail to the life of Alexander Hamilton. From his early years in the West Indies to that fateful day in Weehawken, NJ, Fritz puts Hamilton's story center stage while also setting it in the context of the birth of the United States. The tone of the narrative is conversational and should appeal to middle grade readers. Historical images are reproduced throughout the book; while lovely and certainly helpful in setting the mood and tone in ce ...more
Stacy Ford
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Katie
I have always been a nerd for history, especially American history. Growing up I loved reading historical fiction, biographies, and nonfiction with a focus on American history. Jean Fritz was and still is one of my favorite authors to turn to for great biography or history books. I grew up reading her books and when I saw this new one at the library I knew I had to pick it up and read it!

Most people think of Alexander Hamilton as the guy on the ten dollar bill and maybe even know that he died in
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Kristen Jorgensen
Alexander Hamilton was always one of my favorites in American history. I was delighted to see Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider in the mock Newbery lists. It was a wonderful read and I think children will enjoy it. Jean Fritz with one Newbery honor under her belt has written Hamilton’s life accurately and brings his attributes to our country forward.

Her ability to show how Hamilton’s ideas and policies are either the forerunner to rules and departments we have today, or are basically still in us
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Ronna
I purchased this book for my 9 year old son, who like his mother, enjoys history. It was longer than I had anticipated when I purchased it, so I read it first. I did enjoy it, however, I thought it included a bit too much detail for its intended school age audience, and I fear many of that age would not read it cover to cover. In particular, the chapters covering Hamilton's time serving in the army during the American Revolution, while I'm certain are historically accurate and done quite compreh ...more
Teresa Scherping
Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was much more than just the face on our $10 bill. Born in the West Indies to a Scottish father and French mother, Alexander always felt like he didn't quite belong. After years of working hard and reading every history book he could get his hands on, Alexander achieved his dream of traveling to America to study. As a teenage student at King's College, Alexander became involved with the patriots who wanted freedom from Britain. When the Revolutionary War broke o ...more
Megan D. Neal
When I saw this book sitting on the "New Children's Books" table at our library, I snatched it up for 3 reasons (well, 4 reasons, but the fourth reason was purely fluff):

- It was written by Jean Fritz, one of my favorite historical writers.
- It is about a man who definitely deserves to not be forgotten, but is not much mentioned beyond a line or two in primary and middle school history books. Alexander Hamilton was an honest, passionate man who played an integral role in how the economic system
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Ms. Yingling
Wow. Ms. Fritz is about 95 years old. As with Milton Meltzer's Tough Times, I could not say anything bad about this new book even if there was cause, which there was not. This 132 page treatment of Hamilton's life is fast paced and very readable, with plentiful and appropriate illustrations. It follows his life from birth and childhood in the West Indies (under less than ideal conditions) to his foolish death at the age of 49 in the duel with Aaron Burr. You'd have thought that after his 19-year ...more
Mark Flowers
When choosing one's favorite founding father (as we all, eventually must) liberals could do a lot worse than Alexander Hamilton--a genuine war hero, who was nonetheless very thoughtful about whether the Revolution was the right thing; a virulant opposer of slavery; the primary author of the Federalist papers; a proponent of a strong central government, and founder of the Federalist party; creator of the national bank; and a generally honorable man who accepted his duel with Burr but refused to r ...more
Laura
I can easily see this becoming the "go to" biography on Hamilton for younger readers - the narrative flow will help them get through some of the more confusing parts (Hamilton's ideas about a federal bank, for example, or his activities during the Revolutionary War). Occasionally the jumps make the chronology a little confusing, or information is left out (eg, was Hamilton accepted to the College of New Jersey?) but that's a rare occurrence. There were times when I wished for more detail, for ex ...more
Lisa
Alright, I am not, nor do I claim to be, a history buff. Seriously. I am pretty awful at history and it bores me. I honestly only recognized the name because 1) I knew he was on the $10 bill due to a Lonely Island song, Lazy Sunday and 2) I knew he was in a duel. Didn't know if he or Aaron Burr won, just knew they were in it. All those confessions being said, this book actually held my attention and taught me a few things. I can't guarantee that I will remember those things, but I at least will ...more
Amanda
I loved the section illustrations. Also, my kids could barely breath when I read about thé duel. I guess I hadn't told them how Hamilton died.
Mary
An excellent biography. I had trouble putting this book down. It has been a while since I learned about Alexander Hamilton, so everything seemed new. I also find it hard to believe that I haven't read any books by this author (at least that I'm aware of), especially since she has written so many. Narrative biographies are really making history come alive for today's students, and this one is one of the best. A great curriculum addition for middle schoolers.
Debbie Graham
Really have great respect for Ms. Fritz and her research--the flow was difficult (sometimes too detailed, sometimes a bit jumpy), some of the imagery a bit "old-fashioned" for today's reader...wind bending the trees so low they looked as if they were "bowing to a higher authority." p. 45. But very informative and well-worth reading for a more mature child interested in Revolutionary war period.
Samantha
A good kid's bio of this famous American political figure. Very readable and informative written by a great author who is skilled at her craft. The chapters are fairly short and the author doesn't use a lot of high vocabulary that would require a dictionary to get through. I would recommend this title for grades 4-6 as either a homework resource or as an interesting nonfiction title.
Joan
Because I always admired Jean Fritz, I'm giving this 4 stars but it really only deserves 3 stars. This is Fritz's last book, the end of a remarkable career. Unfortunately I felt she has done better work. This was interesting and we need new Hamilton bios, but she left some loose ends and I did not understand from her book just why Hamilton stupidly went to that duel w/Barr.
Pam
This biography did an excellent job presenting the life of Alexander Hamilton for his birth and early life in the West Indies to death in the United States. In addition, it explains his role in the birth of our nation, his political opinions and interactions with the other founding fathers.
Christina
A good look at this famous figure in our country's history. I wanted the book to be written a little better, more eye-catching, not so dry. But it will work for book reports and homework about Hamilton, the man on the ten dollar bill, the first Secretary of the Treasury.
Melissa Mcavoy
A very engaging and meaty biography of Hamilton. Brings alive his unlikely and adventurous, 'up from the bootstraps' youth. This book and the recent Layfayette biography, both help convey the exciting, dangerous and dicey nature of the American Revolution. Recommended.
Cara
Great little book-not too short or too long. Enjoyable to read.
Mary
Informative, and thorough. Fritz handles nicely some potentially sensitive subjects (Hamilton had an affair, for example). However, overall it seems to be pretty dry.
Kirsten Murphy
Interesting look at Hamilton's life... learned quite a bit more about the monumental impact he had on helping to establish the foundation of our country.
Leigh
Interesting historical study of one of the most influential people of Colonial and Revolutionary America.
Linda Atkinson
Juvenile nonfiction, well written, easy to read biography of a most interesting Founding Father.
Mae
The only reason i rated it low was because i dont like bios., but i had to read it for school.
Rachel
Basic biography of Hamilton, Fritz has a fine writing style but this was a little bland.
Edward Sullivan
A lively, informative portrait of the founding father.
Megan Tollefson
Megan Tollefson is currently reading it
Oct 26, 2014
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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
More about Jean Fritz...
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