Thursday, March 17, 2016

Alexander Hamilton has completely taken over my home (and I'm okay with that)

Hamilton has taken over my home.  I instantly fell in love with the cast recording, as did my two sons (age 6 and 9).  I haven't quite allowed the boys to listen to Act 2 yet... though I explained the basics of what happens and it nearly brought my 9 year old to tears.  He can also sing most of Act 1 at this point without the music.  They are also jealous that my friend and I are going to see the show in 19 days!!  I still can't believe it.  I am ridiculously excited, but am trying to hold it all in.

In the meantime, I have been using the boys co-infatuation with Alexander Hamilton  to get them to read books about him. Truthfully, it isn't hard to get them to read, but neither have been very interested in history or biography before.

For the 6 year old, I brought home the picture book Aaron and Alexander:  The Most Famous Duel in History by Don Brown.  They both liked it and read it a couple of times through together; the older reading to the younger brother.  It is a little much for the 6 year old to read just yet, but he loved the illustrations and the content.  He now understands more completely the line "I'm the damn fool that shot him".  I appreciated the author's note and bibliography at the end.


For the 9 year old, I brought home the more in depth biography The Alexander Hamilton You Never Knew by James Lincoln Collier.  At 80 pages, this included more details of the Founding Father's life, right up to and including the duel.  My son liked all the portraits too, as he had no idea really what these people looked like.  His one criticism was that it "didn't start at the beginning, just when he arrived in New York".  I didn't read this one, but did check for Author Notes and bibliography which were included.  I liked them, but I don't think my son cared either way.  Of course, he's not doing a project on him or anything...  he just enjoyed reading about the man's history.



As for me, I'm still working my way through Ron Chernow's biography Alexander Hamilton, which was the inspiration for the musical itself.  It is a huge tome, but fascinating.  Some sections get a little slow - I'm not all that interested in knowing how the banking system works and what bank subscriptions are and so on.  I know that would horrify Mr. Hamilton, but I'm more interested in the big picture.  I'm a little more than half way through now, and I really am enjoying it.  This really is an incredible story.

*****

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1 comment:

looloolooweez said...

This is amazing! I'm so glad your kiddos are into it, too.

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