cover image Thomas Jefferson's America

Thomas Jefferson's America

Jim Weiss, . . Greathall Productions, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-882513-86-4

Prolificstoryteller Weiss turns his attention to history, crafting an accessible biography of Thomas Jefferson and emphasizing his key role in the emergence of our independent nation. Focusing on facts, events and relationships likely to pique young listeners' interest, Weiss chronicles Jefferson's life from boyhood to grandfatherdom via a series of 11 chapters. Background information on the politics of the time (i.e., slavery, the House of Burgesses, Boston Tea Party, Patrick Henry's addressing "taxation without representation," etc.) is woven into the stories, offering a well-rounded, succinct and colorful timeline. From Jefferson's construction of Monticello at age 29 to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, diplomatic work in Paris, plus life as the third president of the U.S. and beyond, Weiss hits all the high points with a smooth and welcoming voice. An introduction imagines Jefferson speaking with a gaggle of his grandchildren and a closing essay, "Thomas Jefferson Still Lives," give this portrait a simultaneous down-home and reverential tone, while reminding listeners of the true, very human nature of heroes. Ages 7-up. (Dec. 2005)