Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Thomas Jefferson and the Ghostriders

Thomas Jefferson and the Ghostriders

Howard Goldsmith
Illustrator:  Drew Rose 
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2008   ISBN: 978-1416926924

Thomas Jefferson lived in Virginia and one day he was looking at a map when he saw that a Native American burial mound was marked on it. Tom asked his father about it and was told to stay away from the mound because it was "a holy place." Naturally Tom could not resist talking to his friends about the mound. One said that the woods around the mound were haunted by mounted ghosts. Tom's other friend, Dabney Carr, laughed at this suggestion and promptly dared Tom to go to the mound that very night.

Of course Tom could not resist a dare and so the boys went to the mound and sure enough they saw ghostly looking riders going past them. They soon realized that the men were not ghosts at all. They were Native American men who had come to pray at the mound.

Tom and Dabney tried to slip away without being noticed but one of the riders saw Tom and winked and smiled at him. He also spoke to Tom and Tom understood that the man was wishing him well.

This encounter, and others that Tom had with the Native Americans, greatly affected Tom and made him appreciate the diversity of people.

This well written little story will entertain beginner readers. With a challenging vocabulary and plenty of illustrations, it is perfectly balanced for the reader who is ready to move on to more complicated stories.

This is one of the titles in the "Childhood of Famous Americans" series which is part of the "Ready-To-Read" book family.