Intending to tell the true story of George Washington's boyhood rather than the familiar myths, the author researched his diaries, letters, and school papers. While many of the customs of the times--table manners, fox hunting, and housewifery--are highlighted, young George remains a shadowy presence, rarely mentioned in the first 28 pages. Also, the dialogue, all supposedly based on research materials, is spoken in contemporary style by an assortment of relatives; and the presentation of factual data is confusing. The first page announces that George was born on February 11th, but the reason for the 11-day discrepancy from the traditional date is not explained until page 92. Slaves are often mentioned, but an explanation of slavery and the times is never given. Bringing historical accuracy to juvenile biography is certainly laudable, but this effort doesn't make it accessible to young readers. Chronology, index.