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Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History
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Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  664 ratings  ·  148 reviews
The most famous duel in American history dramatized by leading nonfiction picture book illustrator, Don Brown.

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were both fierce patriots during the Revolutionary War, but the politics of the young United States of America put them in constant conflict. Their extraordinary story of bitter fighting and resentment culminates in their famous du
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Roaring Brook Press
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Arielle ⭐ Cursebreaker ⭐
Much of the country cursed Aaron Burr. He never recovered his political reputation. He wandered Europe for several years. When he was an old man, a thoughtful Aaron said, "I should have known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me." ...more
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sure Aaron Burr, the world was wide enough for you both, but now you and Hamilton are both Broadway legends, not too shabby.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This is definitely one for the older readers. The text of the book itself is simple enough, but there's a lot of it, so it wouldn't hold a younger kiddo's attention. I really like the illustrations. They're pretty simple, and Brown tries to highlight the similarities between Burr & Hamilton's lives in text & image.

The author's note & bibliography leaves a little to be desired, though. I just don't know that it would be super accessible for 4th-6th graders who might read this, and the bibliograp
An attractive dual biography of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. With well-paced storytelling and pen and ink illustrations, Brown gives a simplified introduction to both men and their complicated relationship. Brown is evenhanded in his description of Burr and Hamilton’s feud and allows readers to come to their own conclusions. However in his author’s note, he weighs in on the controversy and adds further insight to the conflict between the two founding fathers. A compelling picture book that ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, juv-non-fic
This was an interesting non-fiction picture book about Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. I knew of their duel, but I didn't really know the backstory, or how much of a role either one played in history. I did find it interesting that there was a sympathetic spin where Burr was concerned. I have never read a book where he wasn't villainized for his role in the duel.

The illustrations really add a lot to the story.
Katt Hansen
I have seen some strange picture books over the last several years, but this one takes the cake. I never expected to see a picture book detailing the famous duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. It seems a strange subject matter in a book aimed for young children.

This is NOT the story you want to pick up to read to your toddler on a Sunday afternoon.

On the other hand, it's an interesting addition to a history curriculum for an older child. The parallels between the lives of the two cha
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
A well-illustrated, well-laid-out, and very informative version of the story of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. (Tell me, Goodreads friends - can any of us of a certain age think of this duel without remembering the milk commercial??)

I liked the presentation of Burr and Hamilton's parallel stories, and the emphasis on what they had in common as well as their differences. It gives a great opportunity to open discussion about finding common ground with people we don't like, as well as thinking
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff, history
They had so much in common . . .

Both men were smart and well-read. Both were brave and proved their mettle on Revolutionary War battlefields. Each acted as wartime aides for George Washington . . .

And yet, they ended up fighting the most famous duel in American history.


Brown presents a fascinating account of how it all went down. Great for older children and history buffs.
Side by side spreads describe Aaron Burr and Alexander Burr's childhoods, schooling, involvement in the Revolutionary War and their growing disdain for one another. The illustrations accompanying the text add to the emotion and tension. The book also includes an author's note and bibliography. ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
more in depth than the early reader, this book more evenhandedly compares the parallel lives of hamilton and burr in a compelling narrative. even someone who's read a lot on the subjects might learn something new (i did). ...more
Brian Duffy
I would use this book to teach American History. The fiction twin text I chose for this book is "Alexander Hamilton #2: Little Lion (The Treasure Chest) by Ann Hood, 2012. This fictional story actually goes into greater detail about Alexander Hamilton's life and would make Aaron and Alexander more meaningful. ...more
Jody Ruff
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The History on Aaron and Alexander and how they grew up. Both their families died because of fevers.
They moved around many times with many life changes. This book helps children learn about the History of the men In the United States during and after the Revolutionary War.
A nice introduction to the tumultuous relationship between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, ending in their famous (deadly) duel.

I really liked the organization of information here. Each two page spread explained what Burr and Hamilton were doing at the same point in time and really helped readers to compare their lives, their opportunities, and the facts of life that made them into the men they became. The blame isn't placed squarely on Burr as the villain, though that is the way history ofte
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great non-fiction informational book about two very colorful characters in America's early days. I learned a lot . Good watercolor illustrations. Nice format with compare and contrast between the two men. This book made me want to learn more about Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. I think it could teach us all about human nature and how you can have all the education, training, opportunity and determination, but if you cannot get along with people things can get out of hand and result in traged ...more
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
My kids and I have been listening a lot to the musical Hamilton these days. In an effort to better understand the musical, I picked up this book. Honestly, I am not sure that I would have picked up this book if I wasn't a little obsessed with Hamilton right now. But there is SO much that I didn't know about this time period, and it is fascinating. After my ten-year-old son read this book he exclaimed, "Wow! This is really interesting!" I agreed. As a teacher, I think that this could be a great b ...more
Holly Mueller
This is a fascinating compare/contrast biography of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. I didn't know a lot of the background of the two men before reading this picture book. Kids will be fascinated (and probably horrified) by the somewhat common practice of dueling to settle disputes if they haven't heard of it before. Great mentor text for our Common Core standard on text structures. ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-log
Biographical Title #2:

I really liked this one. It had interesting pictures that heightened the text well. The text was short, encompassing, and child-friendly. It includes real quotes from Aaron and Alexander, and it would be great for any child interested in Hamilton/Burr. It could also be used to show compare and contrast.
Michaela VanOeveren
Nonfiction Book: Aaron and Alexander
Content area: American History/Social Studies (probably around third or fourth grade)
Twin Text: Alexander Hamilton: the Little Lion
Crossover to Content: I would teach this with the American revolution, but maybe do it as an activity to garner excitement for the topic before diving in, because Aaron and Alexander covers most of the Revolutionary War within its pages as a quick overview, and The Little Lion leads right up to it. I think that the order of things
Ben Truong
May 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Don Brown. The peculiar enmity between founding fathers Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton culminated in an infamous duel.

Aaron Burr Jr. was an American politician and lawyer. He served as the third vice president of the United States during President Thomas Jefferson's first term from 1801–1805. Alexander Hamilton was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military com
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book tells the story of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Aaron was born into a wealthy family and had family support, even in his hardships. Alexander was born among merchants and slaves and worked hard to study and become George Washington's right hand man. After the Revolutionary war, in which they both fought, Aaron and Alexander became lawyers in New York, where they finally met. Although they began on good terms, they soon became enemies as they joined different political parties in ...more
Jenna Boulden
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-pair
I really enjoyed this book and think it is perfect for students interested in early America and the founding fathers. It is simply informational and details the famous and fatal duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. It provides lots of factual information about their lives leading up to their duel. It talks about their differences in opinions about how the new America should be led and run.
The illustrations in this book are simple, yet they still help tell the story. There is lots of
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have to up front say, we are huge Hamilton fans in my household, and my 8 year old daughter was asking for ALL the books about Alexander Hamilton, and honestly there really aren't that many. I have to give a huge kudos to this author, for taking a subject such as a duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and breaking it down for kids in a way that they not only understand it, but also made it an interesting read! The author did a fantastic job of explaining how Burr and Hamilton were s ...more
Maddie Russell
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Aaron and Alexander" tells the stories of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, two historically influential men whose lives differed from the very start. Highlighting not only their contrasting upbringings but also their political differences, Brown sets the stage for their most famous conflict: the infamous firearm duel that ultimately killed Hamilton.

illustrations: watercolor, by Don Brown

Incredibly factual, yet incredibly entertaining, "Aaron and Alexander" was an enjoyable read. Even as some
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an informational book and it is also a biography of the lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The book is a organized in a compare and contrast style, comparing the lives of the two men from the time they were born, until the time of Alexander's death.

The illustrations are large, bold and beautiful. They look as if they were first sketched with pencil and then painted in with watercolor paints.

This book would be good to use with grades K-5. It can be used to discuss the history,
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This would be a fantastic biographical, read aloud for older elementary students who are studying the Founding Fathers and Revolutionary War. Don Brown wrote and illustrated "The Most Famous Duel In American History" with intense drawings and concrete language. I was drawn to the emotional facial expressions and side by side stories of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. I really liked how Don Brown told their stories next to one another on the page. The reader could see what Hamilton and Burr ha ...more
Mary Shafer
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. They were alike as well as different in many ways. They both grew up orphans. They went to college and became lawyers. They were into politics. They were on different sides of politics. Aaron talked aloud about his views and Alexander wrote about his views. Alexander kept writing bad things about Aaron which he ignored most of them. However it got to a point that Aaron couldn't take it any more. Aaron challenged Alexander to a duel. Read the ...more
Mar 16, 2021 added it
Shelves: read-alouds
A retelling of the history of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The book tells their past back stories set up as comparisons (this is how they were orphaned, this is how they went to school, this is how they worked, this is how they fought in the war, etc.). Surprisingly and contrary to most books, this author leans towards siding with Burr, and it gave an interesting perspective on this well-known history. The book overlooks their family lives and focuses mostly on their childhood and young ad ...more
Ashley Biles
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Brown, D. (2015) Aaron and Alexander: The most famous duel in American history. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

This is a great way to explain to kids about this famous duel between two people, and how it ended badly for both of them. Not only does it tell about history, but it explains that two people can be very different and they could still be friends, but hurting each other instead just ends badly for both parties.
Kelley Mitchell
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Such an exciting story, but the author's reliance on using quotations from contemporary sources robbed the story of it's suspense and vinegar. The language of 200 years ago seems formal and doesn't carry the heat of anger that it would have if using modern language. I'm pretty sure a 9 year old reading this wouldn't get the anger and hatred these men had for each other. ...more
Paige Fulkerson
I like that this story gives the biographies of two men at the same time. It sets up their rivalry as politicians beautifully and each man's story enhances the other as we are given context as to why some of the other person took certain actions! I liked the format! It is a great social studies book too! ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pac

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