Worst of Friends – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I combed through Susanna Leonard Hills nonfiction picture books and couldn’t believe “Worst of Friends”  hadn’t been reviewed! So here goes…

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“Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the best of friends, even though they were completely different.”

They shared similar ideas about how the thirteen colonies should become a nation—until they stopped seeing eye to eye on the powers granted the president. Thus begins a legendary feud between the Federalist Party and the Republican Party.

What happens to their friendship? Well, I guess you just have to read the book if you don’t know.

The illustrations, including George Washington eating dinner calmly between JA and TJ while they argue, should bring smiles to children’s (and adults’) faces.

And the ending? Well, the truth rivals anything a fiction writer could ever dream up. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th birthday of America’s independence

I love this story. It makes me cry every time I read it. Sniffle….

The extensive bibliography will guide children’s further research into the lives of these two men, and its hilarious foreword titled: “Can Presidents be Pals?” should pull readers into the story.  It’s appropriate for grades K-5.

Themes: U.S. History. Friends who are very different can work together. It’s good to extend an olive branch to a friend before it’s too late. 

TItle: Worst of Friends
Author: Suzanne Tripp Jurmain
Illustrator: Larry Day
Pub date: 2011
Publisher: Dutton, a division of Penguin

32 thoughts on “Worst of Friends – Perfect Picture Book Friday

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Yes, I wasn’t a history buff, either, as a kid. I think it was because all of the history for children wasn’t as well written and researched as it is now. I’m loving these “new gen” history books! Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Kate Johnston says:

    Sounds like a great book — another one for me to search for to have my son read. BTW, I was able to find Nurse, Soldier, Spy. I have to get it from another library — our local library didn’t have it, gasp! I’ll let you know how we like it!

  2. Mrs. P says:

    John Adams was just one of those guys who bumped heads into various people through out his life. He and Ben Franklin didn’t see eye to eye on many things as well.

    This sounds like a book for me to read, though your comment about making you cry surprised me as I wasn’t expecting a tear jerker from this title.

  3. Julie says:

    Thanks for reviewing this book, Jill! I had never heard of it and am definitely going to get it for our library. I LOVED the mini-series.

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