Those Rebels, John and Tom


JOHN was short and stout.

TOM was tall and lean.

JOHN was argumentative and blunt.

TOM was soft-spoken and polite.

But these two very different gentlemen did have two things in common:

They both cared deeply about the American colonies, and neither cared much for George...

Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Published by Scholastic Press, 2012

ISBN 978-0-545-22268-6

Find this book: IndieBound, B&N, amazon, and goodreads

A Junior Library Guild Selection

2013 Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award -- Washington State Book Award

Shortlisted for the 2013 PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing

Gold Award Winner -- The National Parenting Publications Awards

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Book Links 2012 Lasting Connections

2013 Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book -- NCTE

CCBC Choices 2013

2013 Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bank Street College of Education

2012 Nonfiction Honor Book, Oregon Spirit Book Award

Nominated for the Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award

Listen to me talk about the book here.

“It’s sometimes easy to think of the Founding Fathers as a bunch of interchangeable guys in wigs and and weird pants.  This fun, energetic double portrait of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson shines a light on how different these two men were from each other.  John was brash, argumentative, and as persuasive as a cudgel.  Tom was contemplative, shy, and a wicked wielder of the pen.  Together, they formed a bond of mutual respect and used their complementary styles to rally a nation behind them....A worthy addition to the American history curriculum, this is a terrific book to lead the charge in learning about the Revolution, as well as a lesson in how dedicated cooperation can achieve great ends.”

                                                                                    Booklist, starred review

“Kerley and Fotheringham...cleverly contrast two diverse founding fathers.... Entertaining verse and droll illustrations parlay their differences and similarities into a lens through which to view the start of the American Revolution....A witty and wise portrait.”

                                                                   Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A...blend of caricature and portraiture, historical substance and comical aside....Fotheringham’s cartoonish drawings hold a retro ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ appeal in this rousing account.”

                                                                         New York Times Book Review

“Gives a new perspective to the story of the Declaration of Independence.”

                                                                         Library Media Connection

“Graceful and good-humored....respectful and affectionate.”


“Forthright and dynamic....authoritative yet child-friendly.”

                                                                                      School Library Journal

“Light-hearted but eminently humane.”

                                                    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Children will be reeled in by the friendship at the center of this picture book.”

                                                                                    Shelf Awareness

“Decked out on patriotic red, white and blue pages, Adams and Jefferson help bring forth the Declaration of Independence and, in so doing, model successful collaboration. Their secret: Speak up and listen to the other guy. Good lessons for today’s Washington.”

                                                                                San Francisco Chronicle