Dolley was a farm girl who became a fine first lady when she married James Madison. She wore beautiful dresses, decorated her home, and threw lavish parties. Everyone talked about Dolley, and everyone loved her, too. Then war arrived at her doorstep, and Dolley had to meet challenges greater than she'd ever known. So Dolley did one thing she thought might make a difference: she saved George Washington. Not the man himself, but a portrait of him, which would surely have been destroyed by English soldiers. Don Brown once again deftly tells a little known story about a woman who made a significant contribution to American history.
"The soldiers guarding the house flee, but Dolley refuses to leave until a valuable painting of George Washington is saved with the help of other citizens. Although Brown might have used this high point to end the book, to his credit, he extends the text, showing the anger and fear of the populace as the battle rages. A powerful spread shows women shaking their fists at Dolley, a surrogate for the president, on whom they blame the war. A last page shows Dolley surrounded by cameos of the first 11 presidents, all of whom Dolley knew, while an author's note gives more information about her." -- Ilene Cooper, Booklist
|4 - 8
|Oct 22, 2007
|Houghton Mifflin Books for Children