Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia: What I Learned of Freedom, 1776

When Mr. Jefferson Came to Philadelphia: What I Learned of Freedom, 1776

Ann Turner
Illustrator:  Mark Hess 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
HarperCollins, 2003   ISBN: 0060275790

It was the summer of 1776 when Mr. Jefferson came to lodge in the Ned's house. Ned noticed how much time Mr. Jefferson spent writing in his room. Hour after hour by the light of a candle Mr. Jefferson wrote. He also spoke to Ned of all the important things that were going on in the country at that time. He told Ned that the people of the colonies needed to show King George of England that they did not wish to be ruled by England any more, that they did not want to be told "what we can and cannot do."

As Mr Jefferson worked with the other Congress members to resolve these problems Ned tried to decide in his own mind if what Mr. Jefferson said sounded right to him. Wasn't talking about King George in that way treasonous? "Wasn't Mr. Jefferson afraid?"

Then Ned heard the words that Mr. Jefferson had been writing for all those days. They were the words of the new American Declaration of Independence. Ned only needed to hear the rousing words once before he knew that Mr. Jefferson was right, that his country did indeed need to fight for its freedom.

This superb picture book gives the reader a wonderful picture of what Thomas Jefferson was like and what it would have been like to be living in Philadelphia in 1776. Full page illustrations help set the mood of the story.