Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WHEN MR. JEFFERSON CAME TO PHILADELPHIA by Ann Turner

WHEN MR. JEFFERSON CAME TO PHILADELPHIA

What I Learned of Freedom, 1776

By Ann Turner (Author) , Mark Hess (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-027579-0
Publisher: HarperCollins

Ned, a fictional boy, meets Thomas Jefferson, who’s staying at his mother’s boardinghouse while he’s writing the Declaration of Independence. The focus here is a snapshot of a specific place, time, and historic moment—not the life of Jefferson. As in Drummer Boy (1998), Turner has successfully melded fact and fiction in a story that enlivens history for young readers by narrating it through a young boy’s eyes. The opening sentence, “What did I know of freedom, of all the wild talk of independence that summer of 1776,” expresses Ned’s point of view and establishes context. The spare text and large type offer simplicity while the realistic, detailed illustrations provide a stereoptic peek into the time. The dialogue seems natural and the visual perspectives build dramatic tension. A perceptive, accessible tribute to freedom. (historical note, sources) (Picture book/historical fiction. 6-9)