Books by Jean Fritz

ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

"The volume comes to an unfortunately perfunctory conclusion with Hamilton's death in his duel with Aaron Burr, though source notes add interesting additional reading. (Biography. 9-12)"
His enemies may have called him an outsider, but Alexander Hamilton was loyal to his adopted country. Read full book review >
WHO’S SAYING WHAT IN JAMESTOWN, THOMAS SAVAGE? by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 1, 2007

"Though Comport's low-angle illustrations have a distractingly flat, over-painted look, and the closing bibliography is composed of adult sources and hard-to-find journal articles, the narrative here is easily vivid enough to compensate. (Fictionalized nonfiction. 8-11)"
Commemorating the 400th anniversary of Jamestown's founding, Fritz's latest venture into America's past sketches the career of a teenaged cabin boy who joined the beleaguered colony at the beginning of 1608. Read full book review >
THE LOST COLONY OF ROANOKE by Jean Fritz
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 2004

"The history-as-mystery format will appeal to young historians. (Nonfiction. 8+)"
In 1585, Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh supported an English settlement on Roanoke Island, between Cape Hatteras and Virginia. Read full book review >
LEONARDO’S HORSE by Jean Fritz
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"Together, Fritz and Talbott have forged an extraordinary tribute to two dreamers 500 years apart. (Biography. 7-12)"
A veteran writer of lively biographies has turned her attention to quite an engaging story: the biography of an equine sculpture. Read full book review >
WHY NOT, LAFAYETTE? by Jean Fritz
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

"Fritz adds telling—and usually entertaining—details so effectively that readers will be stirred even at this distance by Lafayette's accomplishments, personal gifts as a leader and mediator, and lifelong idealism. (Biography. 10-13)"
From Fritz (You Want Women To Vote, Lizzie Stanton?, 1995, etc.), another winning portrait of a colorful historical figure with whom most readers will have but a nodding acquaintance. Read full book review >
YOU WANT WOMEN TO VOTE, LIZZIE STANTON? by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Aug. 16, 1995

"Lively, enjoyable fare from a reliable and expert storyteller. (Biography. 10- 14)"
The early women's rights and suffrage advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton is the focus of a readable, accessible biography. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 15, 1994

"Though Jakoubek's Harriet Beecher Stowe (1989) is a more detailed source for Harriet's writings and later life, this makes livelier reading and presents a coherent, well-knit view of the Beechers' place in our country's history. (Biography. 10-13)"
The tale of this prominent, brilliant, dangerously high-strung family (two brothers committed suicide) makes a compelling American saga. Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: March 23, 1994

"Venti's soft-pencil illustrations pick up amusingly on Fritz's humor (though not on the wry indignation that frequently propels it), while his frequent maps help to clarify the journeys. (Nonfiction. 7-11)"
Deftly navigating the politically correct waters of revisionist history, Fritz surveys the brief period, beginning early in the 15th century (when the world known to Europeans consisted mostly of Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia), during which most of the globe's coastlines were first mapped. Read full book review >
SURPRISING MYSELF by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 1993

"Also available: Verna Aardema's A Bookworm Who Hatched (ISBN: 1-878450-39-5) and Lee Bennett Hopkins's The Writing Bug (ISBN: 1-878450-38-7). (Autobiography. 5-9)"
One of three excellent new titles in the "Meet the Author" series, written at about the second-grade level and focusing on experiences related to the author's writing career. Read full book review >
THE WORLD IN 1492 by Jean Fritz
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 12, 1992

"But, still, there's a great deal to ponder in this attractive overview—which may be most valuable for such unexpected depictions as the Aztecs supplanting a previous civilization, or the Maori hunting a species to extinction. (Nonfiction. 11-14)"
An ambitious undertaking: a survey with contributions by six eminent authors, plus fine reproductions of artifacts, photos of architecture, and contemporary maps. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 2, 1992

"A winner. (Biography/Picture book. 5-9)"
An ebullient collaboration between the fine historian whose many books include Where Do You Think You're Going, Christopher Columbus? (1981) and one of America's favorite illustrators. Read full book review >
BULLY FOR YOU, TEDDY ROOSEVELT! by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 24, 1991

"Notes; bibliography; index. (Biography. 10+)"
Concluding her first chapter with the death of Roosevelt's father while Roosevelt was still at Harvard, Fritz includes a telling quote ("I felt stunned...he was everything to me"), then telegraphs her theme in her uniquely lucid, succinct style: "In his distress, Teddy may have felt that....his boyhood was gone. Read full book review >
THE GREAT LITTLE MADISON by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 27, 1989

"An excellent, fascinating, indispensable resource."
A vivid portrait of the small man with a small voice who was the first to arrive at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, as well as the last survivor of that august body when he died in 1836—and who played perhaps the most vital, central role in US history in the years between. Read full book review >
CHINA'S LONG MARCH by Yang Zhr Cheng
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 29, 1988

"This vivid account should go a long way towards making a radically different, vitally important country more comprehensive to American children; it belongs in every library."
The heroic events that began the Communist era in China are recounted by a favorite author (herself born in China) who has written a distinguished list of books on American history for children. Read full book review >
SHH! WE'RE WRITING THE CONSTITUTION by Jean Fritz
HISTORY
Released: April 23, 1987

"Lively and fascinating, this will be a delightful surprise to any child who stumbles on it as part of an assignment; it is sure to open minds to the interest and relevance of history."
No one writes history for children better than the latest Wilder Award winner; funny, pungent and impeccably accurate, her contribution to the plethora of books written for the Constitution's bicentennial should be at the top of everyone's purchase list. Read full book review >
MAKE WAY FOR SAM HOUSTON by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 3, 1986

"Notes, bibliography, index."
Fritz, award-winning biographer (the 1985 Regina Medal and the 1986 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award), has a genius for selection of details which illuminate her subject, neatly fit her careful design, and entertain the reader. Read full book review >
CHINA HOMECOMING by Michael Fritz
FICTION
Released: April 5, 1985

"The likeliest audience, though, consists of youngsters or adults taken with Homesick—who will share Fritz's satisfaction in her warm welcome, in no longer feeling the 'outsider' and being able to call Hankou her hometown. (Below the relatively bland anecdotal/informational surface are some subtle sociocultural dynamics.)"
As she relates in her fictionalized childhood memoir, Homesick, Fritz grew up in China yearning for the America she had never seen; here, 55 years after her departure at age 13, she returns—and finds, in a Hankou transformed, a few shards of her past: "China was not only part of me. . . Read full book review >
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF POCAHONTAS by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 28, 1983

"Buoyant and affecting."
What, one might wonder, does Fritz see in the hackneyed subject of Pocahontas? Read full book review >
HOMESICK by Jean Fritz
by Jean Fritz, illustrated by Margot Tomes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 8, 1982

"Nevertheless the combination of author interest and unusual background should assure an interested readership."
Jean Fritz tells us in a preface that this memoir of her childhood years in China is true to real events and feelings, though fictionalized in the sense that exact conversations are invented and details from a longer period telescoped into the two years from October, 1925, when she was ten, to September, 1927, when she and her parents were finally settled at her grandparents' Pennsylvania farm. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 1981

Continuing the move, begun with Stonewall (1979), from her delightful founding-father sketches to a somewhat older, straighter, and fuller biography, Fritz has made another lively, readable life story from far less personable material. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS by Jean Fritz
FICTION
Released: Feb. 13, 1981

"An agreeable extra."
Like Brendan the Navigator (1979), this sprightly bit of biography is "drawn from an old legend, much of which is certainly true." Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 31, 1980

"As always, the book has an inviting, unimposing look, and Tomes complements the writing with her own touches of wit and general spirit."
"The last thing he wanted to do was discover a new world," says Fritz, explaining that in those days it was more prestigious to find fabled old ones—the kingdom of Prester John, the China of the Great Khan, the gold-laden Japan of Marco Polo's tales. . . or the Garden of Eden, which Columbus "finally realized" he had discovered on the northern coast of South America. Read full book review >
STONEWALL by Stephen Gammell
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 5, 1979

"Well done."
An odd subject for a full-length treatment, perhaps, considering the notables whom Fritz has handled more lightly. Read full book review >
BRENDAN THE NAVIGATOR by Jean Fritz
FICTION
Released: May 29, 1979

"Her jaunty tone is a shade forced at first when she is treating Ireland's love for stories and enthusiasm for the new religion of Christianity, but Brendan's story itself, with all its fabrications and uncertainties, is a natural for her characteristic informal approach, which hinges on not taking her material too seriously."
Fritz incorporates legend, speculation, and likely fact into her story of St. Read full book review >
CAN'T YOU MAKE THEM BEHAVE, KING GEORGE? by Jean Fritz
FICTION
Released: Aug. 17, 1977

"Or maybe the problem lies in lackluster George himself; in any case, Fritz fails to project a personality that can make up for the shortage of history."
Why can't you make this one funny, Jean Fritz? Read full book review >
WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA, BEN FRANKLIN? by Jean Fritz
Released: July 1, 1976

"Not all of Franklin by a long shot—but a cheerful, piquant first meeting."
The "Big Idea" was the connection between lightning and electricity, though Ben Franklin later played his part in advocating still another—American independence. Read full book review >
WILL YOU SIGN HERE, JOHN HANCOCK? by Jean Fritz
Released: June 22, 1976

"Trina Schart Hyman applies her confectioner's touch to the dandified goings on, and her caricatures of Hancock—looking appropriately pompous, outraged, or chagrined—catch the mood of affectionate iconoclasm."
Jean Fritz goes rolling along, and we merrily after, through yet another fizzy tribute to our Founding Fathers. Read full book review >
WHY DON'T YOU GET A HORSE, SAM ADAMS? by Trina Schart Hyman
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 12, 1975

"A brisk, knowledgeable glimpse of how Samuel Adams got 'ready for history' — aimed at kids who aren't quite ready for it themselves."
It's hard to picture Sam Adams, preoccupied with the business of fomenting revolution, paying too much attention to the bad, ring of his conventional cousin and dashing John Hancock who want him to learn to ride horseback like a proper patriot. Read full book review >
WHO'S THAT STEPPING ON PLYMOUTH ROCK? by Jean Fritz
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 15, 1975

The skittish saga of Plymouth Rock says more about how we Americans memorialize our heritage than about the heritage itself. Read full book review >
WHERE WAS PATRICK HENRY ON THE 29TH OF MAY? by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: June 25, 1975

"Margot Tomes makes the most of Henry's theatrical posturing and altogether this spunky, irreverent performance captures the essence of the celebrated 'Patrick flash."
Even his friends agreed that "there was nothing special about Patrick Henry as a boy." Read full book review >
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED, PAUL REVERE? by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 22, 1973

"And Margot Tomes' cheerful, resolute little Colonials are always good news."
Paul Revere was a busy man. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 18, 1972

"A period piece spanning almost a century whose circumstantialities might gently engage specialists, devotees, and researchers of American social history."
A chronicle of the private and public lives of Mercy Otis Warren, one of the first historians and poets of the new American republic, and her father. Read full book review >
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BREAKFAST by Jean Fritz
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Feb. 12, 1969

"Light fare that's likely to turn up at least once in the kitchen: the recipe is given and George's curiosity is catching."
Not Lincoln's doctor's dog but an indulgent spoof of same. Read full book review >
I, ADAM by Jean Fritz
Released: Oct. 30, 1963

"The world of brine and foam and the hot green land of sweet, harvested hay are carved out in detail to form strong backgrounds for a clearly plotted, well written adventure story."
Though born a whaler's son, Adam Crane did not feel the call of the salt. Read full book review >
SAN FRANCISCO by Jean Fritz
Released: Sept. 26, 1962

"The story of the earthquake and fire and how the city rallied to rebuild ends a most insightful tour whose purpose is to reveal the diversified character of San Francisco."
An unusual glimpse of one of our most fascinating cities, and a second addition to the Cities Series, this combines historical anecdote, geography and selective guided tours in acknowledgeable, never dull text. Read full book review >
TAP, TAP, LION 1,2,3 by Jean Fritz
Released: Aug. 14, 1962

"Children who have roared, chirped or growled their way through the living room will immediately respond to the gaiety of this funny reversal and will surely envy Sally her special admittance to the animal kingdom of let's Pretend."
A droll switch on a perennial game — now the lion, bear, owl and rabbit pretend they are children: When a real child (Sally) joins them, the group is complete and ready for a rollicking round of Hide and Seek, Do What. Read full book review >
BRADY by Jean Fritz
FICTION
Released: Oct. 13, 1960

"MPSLUGMRS Fritz has written an exciting, yet tender, chronicle of the boy, his home, and his times."
To know when to keep quiet can keep a boy out of a lot of trouble. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 18, 1958

"Throughout this collection the intent of the author is obviously to convey that warmth and compassion which has made Schweitzer one of the best known personalities of the missionary world."
Doctor Schweitzer's relationship to the great variety of animals with which he surrounds himself is the topic of this pleasant collection of vignettes. Read full book review >
THE CABIN FACED WEST by Jean Fritz
Released: March 1, 1958

"Feodor Rojankovsky has done charmingly homespun black and white pencil sketches to complement the story which is based upon a Fritz family legend."
This is a brief, cozy little period piece, demonstrating Jean Fritz's versatility. Read full book review >
THE LATE SPRING by Jean Fritz
Released: March 26, 1957

"Side sewn."
A robin's flight North provides a focal point for Spring and makes a rather quiet book from Jean Fritz whose Fish Head and 121 Pudding Street were more boisterous and witty. Read full book review >
121 PUDDING STREET by Jean Fritz
Released: Nov. 14, 1955

"Small plots and counterplots foil Miss Pursey's attempt to buy it back again when she returns from Zanzibar."
This light comedy has little more to it than a gratifying triumph over the whims of a fussy old lady but there are concurrent doings that trip the fantastic in a pleasurable sort of way. Read full book review >
FISH HEAD by Jean Fritz
Kirkus Star
by Jean Fritz, illustrated by Marc Simont
Released: June 15, 1954

"Fairly firm stitching."
A tough specimen, habituee of the wharf, Fish Head is a cat with an enviable personality. Read full book review >