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Why Not Lafayette? (Unforgettable Americans) [Paperback]

By Jean Fritz (Author), Ronald Himler (Illustrator) & J. Bonnell (Editor)
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Item Number 150936  
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Item description for Why Not Lafayette? (Unforgettable Americans) by Jean Fritz, Ronald Himler & J. Bonnell...

Traces the life of the French nobleman who fought for democracy in revolutions in both the United States and France.

Publishers Description
A young Frenchman of nineteen traveling across the sea to help a struggling nation fight for its independence? Why not? To Lafayette, anything was possible. A man who threw off the boundaries imposed on him to stand up for what he believed, the Marquis de Lafayette grew from an idealistic young man searching for honor and glory, into an idealistic statesman with rock-solid principles of liberty. Here, Jean Fritz brings to life the exciting story of the brave and appealing man known as "The Hero of the New World."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Why Not Lafayette? (Unforgettable Americans) by Jean Fritz, Ronald Himler & J. Bonnell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 770
  • Publishers Weekly - 03/26/2001 page 95
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2005 page 418
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 512

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Putnam Juvenile
Pages   87
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2003
Publisher   Putnam Juvenile
Age  10-14
ISBN  0698118820  
ISBN13  9780698118829  
UPC  630415005996  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jean Fritz, Ronald Himler & J. Bonnell

Jean Fritz Acclaimed biographer, Jean Fritz, was born in China to American missionaries on November 16, 1915. Living there until she was almost thirteen sparked a lifelong interest in American history. She wrote about her childhood in China in Homesick, My Own Story, a Newbery Honor Book and winner of the National Book Award.
Ms. Fritz was the author of forty-five books for children and young people. Many center on historical American figures, gaining her a reputation as the premier author of biographies for children and young people.
Among the other prestigious awards Ms. Fritz has garnered are: the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Award. the Christopher Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Non-Fiction Award, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and many ALA Notable Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, and ALA Booklist Editors' Choice Awards.
She passed away on May 14, 2017.

Jean Fritz currently resides in the state of New York. Jean Fritz was born in 1916.

Jean Fritz has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Unforgettable Americans

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Action & Adventure
3Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Humorous

Reviews - What do customers think about Why Not Lafayette? (Unforgettable Americans)?

not boring  Sep 6, 2005
I love this author! She is a great children's author. The first line is fascinating, where she tells us Lafayette's whole name (which is quite long!) The book may include pointless details in it as another reviewer points out, but those details are what makes the ancient history come to life! Most children love books by Jean Fritz and if you think this one is too dry for them to read alone - read it aloud! It's a really great book!
Why Not? I'LL Tell You Why Not!  Aug 28, 2005
When I was younger, I had some history books by Jean Fritz. They were humorous and chock full of information.
What happened? "Why Not, Lafayette?" lacked all that good information. There was not a single mention of important figures such as James Armistead. Some events, and especially his early life, were barely described at all! And in their place were POINTLESS details. For example, at 66 Lafayette was befriending young ladies and had one STAYING AT HIS HOUSE! Oh, and we can't forget that history changing moment where he got sick on a bumpy carriage ride. Fritz also made him sound somewhat crazy in his admiration for America.
If you are a fan of Jean Fritz anyway, you might like this book. It is also probably better for younger readers. But if the Marquis de Lafayette is your hero, or you want to learn a lot about him, I would pick a different book.
One of the Best Jean Fritz books.  Nov 28, 2003
I met Jean Fritz at an Educator's Conference a month ago. She was pleased I picked up this book as Lafayette is one of her favorite historical figures. I did it because I had a student who was intrigued by Layfayette in his social studies class. I felt I could learn more about him and share the information and book. I found out quite a bit. Lafayette was a major figure in both the American and French Revolutions. The American Revolution succeeded partly because of his determination. He tried to set France on the right path several times, but it didn't happen in his lifetime. He lived until his seventies and had a very full life. He was a shining figure that celebrated life right up to his death. I want to thank Jean Fritz for pointing this book out to me and prompting me to purchase it.
Bland Book  May 26, 2001
I had a hard time forcing myself through this book. I gave it to my 10 year old son, who is a Francophile and a voracious reader, and he couldn't get through it. Just kind of dry for a biography of a person who was probably pretty interesting.
Why not indeed?  Dec 8, 1999
Lafayette, young brash and bored, takes as his life motto the "Why Not?" on his family crest and answers the call to adventure by leaving the ennui of European court life and taking up arms in the American cause. His personal life, including wife and kids left at home, his adoration of Washington, and his instrumental role in the success of the faltering colonial revolution are all adequately explained for young readers, but there is an uncharacteristic flatness to the telling. Fritz' many other biographies certainly qualify her to tackle this enigmatic subject, but the intricacies of political intrigue seem to oscure the storyline. Lafayette's life seems to have been about boredom, about opposing constituted authority and about swashbuckling adventure, no matter who pays the price. A tough subject to cook down for readers 10-14, by any standard. It's a great read for an overview of Lafayette's life, but lacking in the fire and passion of Fritz's other books.

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