George Washington, Our First Leader
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: George Washington, Our First Leader
Author: Augusta Stevenson
Series: Childhood of Famous Americans
Major Themes: George Washington, Virginia, Biography, Colonial Era (US)
Synopsis: What was George Washington’s life like as a child?
When I was a child, I loved the Childhood of Famous Americans series, and now my own children love them, too. We read George Washington, Our First Leader a few weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. As the title of the series indicates, this book focuses on George’s childhood years. How much of it is factual and how much is invented, is hard to know—but it makes a good story!
The story began when George was seven years old, and the first several chapters describe his life on the plantation along the Rappahannock River in Virginia. George was curious, and loved to watch the craftsmen who did the work for the plantation. He didn’t love school so well, though—and always got zero in spelling! He was the leader of the boys at his school, which sometimes got him into trouble.
As George grew into his teen years, he learned surveying. His older half-brother wanted some land surveyed, and wanted to introduce George to polite society, so the boy needed several new sets of clothes—which turned out to be an ordeal that took up several chapters in order to tell more of the story of his life! Only the last chapter and a half or so are dedicated to George’s adult life.
As with all the books in this series, there are two main reasons I like them. The first is that they are written at a level that both catches the attention of a wide range of ages, and yet is easy to read for those who struggle. One of my sons, when he was about 10 but reading at a second-grade level, wanted true stories. The Childhood of Famous Americans books were just what he needed right then, and got him through that phase; now, a few years later, he’s reading nearly on grade level. The other reason I like these books is that they really give you a feel for what it was like to live at the time these famous people were children. As a factual biography, I wouldn’t say they are great, but for a story, they are.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12
Links to buy George Washington, Our First Leader:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
Keywords: George Washington, Virginia, Biography, Colonial Era (US)