My elementary school age son picked Thomas Jefferson for his biography project this year and his teacher recommended this book. I did some research on my own after seeing the 1 star reviews and found this book to be fairly accurate along the lines of current historical consensus. I would definitely recommend this book to other elementary school age kids who have a project or want to learn more about the author of the Declaration of Independence, but be prepared to talk with your children about the historical context of the events of Jefferson's life to make sure they really understand everything.
In my opinion, Jefferson was probably the most accomplished of all our early Presidents. Once you read of his varied interest, his worldly reputation, and the areas of enlightenment he brought to the early American forefront, you will better understand his importance to the early development of the United States as a world power.
History best remembers Jefferson as the author of The Declaration of Independence, a governor of Virginia Colony, minister to France. Secretary of State in Washington's first administration, vice-president to John Adams, and finally our 3rd President.
All of the above are mileposts in his accomplishments but the true interest lies in the details. Jefferson opened up the White House to members of congress including friends as well as foes. He was interactive with truly the great men of the early revolution. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Hancock, James Madison, John Monroe and many more founding fathers, He initiated the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and finally he retired to his home at Monticello. He founded, along with James Madison The University in Virginia.
Jefferson loved the arts. He played the violin and loved to dance. He read the classics with great appetite.. Architecture was his love and many of the plants at Monticello today were planted by Jefferson many decades ago. He was very learned and serious in his endeavors. He died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing Of The Declaration Of Independence. Fittingly enough he died on July 4th.