Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dolley Madison Saves History

Dolley Madison Saves History

Roger Smalley
Illustrator:  Scott Rosema , Charles Barnett III , Anna Maria Cool 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 6 to 9
Capstone Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-0736849722

Dolley Madison was a bright and vivacious woman and when her husband James was chosen to be President Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of State, she and her husband moved from Philadelphia to the new capital in Washington D.C. Because Jefferson was a widower Dolley agreed to play the part of hostess at the events in the new presidential home, the White House. Then, in 1808, Dolley became the first lady when her husband was elected to be the new president. Dolley fixed up the White House - which was in great need of attention - and her stylish dress and charming manners made her a great favorite in Washington society.

The time of happiness did not last long however. In 1812 relations between the United States and the British began to deteriorate and in June of that year the two countries went to war. At first all seem to be going well but in the summer of 1814 the British forces were getting closer and closer to the American capital and Madison began to worry about his city. Dolley began to prepare, choosing what she would take with her if she had to flee the White House. By August the British were very close indeed and Madison had to leave Dolley to support his troops. Dolley was left in the White House to wait and to hope that her husband and her home would be safe.

In this appealing book young readers will learn about a very tense and difficult time in American history and about a woman who faced her fears during this time with great courage and good sense. Well written and presented in a graphic rich comic book style format, this biography is sure to engage even the most reluctant readers.