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John Paul Jones for Young Readers

JPJ by Wyeth
SEACOAST BOOKS

As many as 100 authors have taken on the complex life of John Paul Jones, many in books written for young readers. Here is one more. But we’re pleased to report that this new "library edition" for middle-schoolers is not your father’s history text. Although well-researched and well-written, this bio is fun to read, filled with pictures and up to date.

 

 

VISIT OUR John Paul Jones Section

JOHN PAUL JONES: Father of the American Navy

Brenda Haugen’s highly readable life of JPJ is the first post-Evan Thomas biography for children. Thomas, an editor at Newsweek magazine, managed to boost John Paul Jones into the bestseller list for the first time in half a century. His book of the same title -- thanks to his journalistic flair -- is the most readable of scores of biographies about Jones. Drawing on that bio, Brenda Haugen has done the same for middle schoolers.

John Paul Jones bio from Compass Point BooksThe problem with most biographies about JPJ for younger readers, and there have been dozens and dozens of them in the last century, is that most are both childish and inaccurate. Jones, like many heroes of the American Revolution, suffered from too much heroic adoration and too little factual information. By the early 20th century, biographers were literally making up the story, while avoiding the less savory details of Jones’ private life moody personality. Samuel Eliot Morison cleared up a lot of the false tales in his very popular 1959 book (again by the same name. But it was Thomas who really brought Jones – warts and all – to life with exciting writing and journalistic research.

From what we have seen, this entire Compass Point "Signature Series" is a blessing for school libraries and history teachers. The books are intelligent and never "talk down" to student readers. They are both well-designed and packed with pictures pulled from history. This particular series fleshes out a wide-range of characters from Benedict Arnold and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to Harriet Beecher Stowe, Tom Paine and Frederick Douglass. Each character gets his or her own colorful hardcover volume.

I "discovered" this new book about John Paul Jones when the publishers contacted SeacoastNH.com for info about our favorite Portsmouth maritime character. After talking with the editors, I was pleased to serve as content adviser for the book. It was a pleasure working briefly on a project of this caliber. When the first copies arrived this week, it was a thrill to discover that the book lives up to expectations. --- JDR

 

John Paul Jones: Father of the American Navy
By Brenda Haugen
112 pages, size: 6" x 9"
Compass Point Books
$22.95
BUY THIS BOOK from Amazon.com

Compass Point Signature Series

FROM THE PUBLISHER
Covering important figures throughout the ages, these lively books are filled with engaging text based on primary sources and thorough research. The full-color images, historical photos and paintings, and detailed maps add to the books' appeal. Each book includes fascinating sidebars, the subject's life at a glance, a parallel timeline of the subject's life and world events, source notes, glossary, suggestions for further reading, and pertinent Web sites and places to visit.

MORE JPJ BOOKS FROM AMAZON:

 

 

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Thursday, October 19, 2017 
 
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