Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Alexander Hamilton: Young Statesman

Alexander Hamilton: Young Statesman

Helen Boyd Higgins
Illustrator:  Cathy Morrison 
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 11
Patria Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1882859610

When Alexander Hamilton lived on the island of Nevis with his mother, his life was very free and relaxed, but now he is living with his Uncle Peter on St. Croix, and he is expected to dress for meals and to speak only when he is spoken to. This does not mean that he doesn’t have adventures though. One morning, while he is looking for some coral to complete a gift for his mother, Alexander finds a box containing a parrot. The parrot, Hurry-Up, has plenty to say, and it isn’t long before the talkative bird gets into trouble. Luckily Uncle Peter is amused by the bird, and Alexander doesn’t get punished for the bird’s antics.

In fact, Uncle Peter is in such a good mood that he allows Alexander to accompany him to the harbor. The Queen Bess is coming in, and somewhere in her hold there is a book that Alexander has been waiting for.

When Alexander disobeys his uncle, Uncle Peter refuses to give the boy his new book. Alexander responds be throwing a temper tantrum. The next morning, the boy goes to apologize, and he and his uncle come to an understanding. Once Alexander has learned how to ride a horse (something he is terrified to do) so that he can “ride the cane” with his uncle, then he will be allowed to go to school. Most boys would hate having to go to school, but Alexander craves it. He hopes that one day he will be able to go to college in the American Colonies, and he knows that he is going to need a good education. Though he faces many challenges as he tries to catch up with the other boys at the school, Alexander’s biggest trial is learning how to control his firecracker temper.

In this Young Patriots title, the author gives young readers a picture of what Alexander Hamilton was like when he was a child and a teenager. Readers will come to appreciate how driven Hamilton was, even when he was very young, and how hard he had to work to get what he wanted in life.