Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Abigail Adams: Courageous Patriot and First Lady

Abigail Adams: Courageous Patriot and First Lady

Barbara A. Somerville
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 10 and up
Capstone Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0756509811

In some ways Abigail Smith was very much like other girls living in New England in the 1700's. She knew how to cook, how to sew, how to plant and tend a garden, how to make soap, and all the other things that young women of her class had to do at that time. What made her different was that her father, a minister of the church, believed in letting all his children read the books in his library, and because of this Abigail ended up being very knowledgeable and well read.

When Abigail was still a teenager she met John Adams, a young lawyer. The two young people grew very fond of one another, corresponding regularly. In 1764, when Abigail was almost twenty, the two got married. They set up a home together in Braintree, Massachusetts, in a saltbox house that John had inherited.

It was not long after their marriage that John Adams began to become active in the political world in Massachusetts. He, like so many of his associates, friends, and neighbors, was angry about the way in which the colonials were being ill-used by their English King and his laws. He used his skills are a lawyer to do what he could to help the cause that both he and Abigail cared deeply about. For Abigail this was the beginning of what would be a very hard and lonely time. John was not home very often and Abigail had to manage their farm on her own. This job was made particularly hard when war broke out between the American colonials and the English. Food was scarce, the Americans were forced to feed and house the English soldiers in their area, and the future was uncertain.

Though Abigail was faced with many problems, and though she had to manage on her own for many years, she was not cowed. Instead she stoutly served her country, supported her husband when he was abroad and in the White House, provided for her family, and raised her children.

In this excellent biography the author shows her readers that Abigail Adams was a very special woman who did her best in trying times, and who supported the man she loved because she believed in him. This was often hard because his work took him all over America, to Paris, and to London. Abigail did not like being away from her home, but she accompanied her husband and did what she could to help him with his work. The author also provides her readers with a very interesting picture of what it was like to live in America during Abigail Adams' lifetime. Readers will see that though women did not have the opportunities and rights that women have today, they still played a vital role in society, and they often had a considerable amount of influence behind the scenes.

Readers who enjoy this book are sure to enjoy other titles in this Signature Lives series.



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