Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton

Margaret McNamara, illus. by Esmé Shapiro. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5247-6588-0
In an epistolary picture book, McNamara envisions Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton as an elderly woman writing a letter to her yet-to-be-born great-granddaughter Elizabeth: “My daughter, who is your grandmama, has asked me to devote this day to writing a letter to you, about my very long and fortunate life.” The letter details Hamilton’s upbringing (including her family’s ownership of slaves and her deep, subsequent regrets), her marriage to Alexander Hamilton and her social and political engagement alongside him, and his untimely death. McNamara provides a portrait of the subject beyond her famed marriage, as Hamilton recounts her work to build schools and orphanages. Shapiro illustrates in delicate, pattern-laden mixed media; landscapes call to mind the work of Grandma Moses, while Hamilton, her husband, and other figures resemble finely featured paper dolls. Expansive back matter includes an afterword from Phillipa Soo, who originated Hamilton’s role in the musical Hamilton. An intimate and well-informed biography. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2018
Release date: 10/02/2018
Library Binding - 48 pages - 978-1-5247-6589-7
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