Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

First Son and President: A Story about John Quincy Adams

First Son and President: A Story about John Quincy Adams

Beverly Gherman
Illustrator:  Matthew Bird 
For ages 9 to 12
Millbrook Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-1575057569

John Quincy Adams did not have your average childhood. When he was still young he experienced the American Revolution at very close quarters and watched as his father, John Adams, battled to encourage his fellow colonists to form a new country. When he was only eleven John Quincy and his father sailed for France where John Adams was going to represent the American government in Paris. John Quincy quickly settled in to life in France becoming proficient in French. He took lessons in fencing, dancing, and drawing and it was not long before he was a very knowledgeable and cultured young man.

In 1780 John Quincy went to study at the University of Leyden while his father was working in Amsterdam. Then a year later the young man went to Russia as secretary to Francis Dana, the American minister serving in the court of Catherine the Great. In 1783, back in Paris, John Quincy was present when the Treaty of Paris was signed bringing the revolutionary war to an end. In his almost eighteen years he had seen so much and yet there were many years ahead of him which he would fill by working as a lawyer, providing for his family, teaching, and serving his country.

In this Creative Minds title the author tells the story of John Quincy Adams with an obvious appreciation for the man's talents and courage. Beverly Gherman helps her readers to see that John Quincy Adams was a very special person who stood by his convictions and who did his best to serve his country.