Jessica Rawden's Reviews > Pass the Quill, I'll Write a Draft: A Story of Thomas Jefferson

Pass the Quill, I'll Write a Draft by Robert M. Quackenbush
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's review
Dec 06, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: children-s-book, biography, nonfiction, pre-2000

Pass the Quill is awesome in some ways, and needs to work out some kinks in others. This biography of Jefferson reminded me of the "Getting to Know the World's Greatest (Artists/Composers, etc.)" series. Each page of text is accompanied by a drawing, most often complete with cartoon bubbles and asides. I immensely love the cartoons in the GTKTWG series because they are most often from the perspective of the artist or someone involved in the artists life and they are often funny. The cartoons in this are from two kids doing an assignment on Jefferson and grumbling about the things they are learning. These, too, are funny, but often not informative. The other thing I really like about the GTKTWG series is the inclusion of photographs of real pieces of history, art, and other objects that were involved in the subjects life. Quakenbush's book only features drawings. The good news, though, is that Quackenbush's book is far more informative than the series I have been comparing it with. I like that the book often goes to lengths to get the whole story while still providing interesting facts:"Thomas Jefferson, at eighty-three, died at Monticello...By an amazing coincidence, his loyal friend, John Adams, died that very day." The only thing the book glossed over was Jefferson's wish to free all people, though he owned slaves. Jefferson had a very specific viewpoint that is far more complicated than the sentence that explains it in the book. I think the issue could have been explained to kids without tarnishing Jefferson's reputation. Overall, I did enjoy the story.

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