Brief Description: An illustrated comparison of George Washington and King George III in the years leading up to and including the American Revolution, with a particularly balanced presentation of both the British and the American points of view.
Date Range: 1763-1783
Keywords: Amercan Revolution, Boston Massacre, Boston Port Act, Boston Tea Party, Declaration of Independence, First Continental Congress, French and Indian War, George Washington, King George III, Stamp Act, Sugar Act, Treaty of Paris
Original Publication: 2004
Suitable for Grades: 4-7th
Target Audience: Middle Grade
This cleverly styled nonfiction comparison of two Georges, George Washington and King George III of Great Britain, demonstrates the maxim that “there are two sides to every story,” a timeless sentiment we would do well to keep in mind. In the years after the French and Indian War ended in 1763, both men shared much in common. But their differences of opinion regarding the purpose and destiny of the colonies landed them on opposite sides of a brewing conflict. What were some of those grievances? Great Britain made it illegal for settlers to move into western territories newly vacated by the French. Great Britain also believed that the colonists should pay the expense for security and frontier protection via a set of new taxes. On the other hand, colonists did not want taxation without representation. They also wanted to be able to trade goods with other nations, not only Great Britain. As the colonists became more restive, King George sent military troops to Boston, leading to the Boston Massacre and eventually outright war.
The war years are also covered, showing Washington’s scrappy Continental army often losing to the superior “Redcoats,” but occasionally eking out wins in a quick summary of important battles. The author’s charming paintings throughout help illustrate not only the battle scenes, but also domestic scenes, political debates, and even maps. The historical figures are depicted with cartoon-like speech balloons showing actual quotes, the sources of which are included in the back matter. The role of enslaved and freed African Americans and Native Americans in the armies of both sides is also briefly mentioned, as is the alliance of France with the Patriots.
An Afterword continues the post-war story of the careers of the two Georges. Additional materials include a bibliography, index, and the author’s acknowledgments. A small warning: parents should be aware that the word “rape” is mentioned one time near the end of the book. The author’s website has a fun Alphabet Activity teacher’s guide using a few of her nonfiction books, including George vs. George.