Another of Monjo's loving and meticulous evocations of the historical American home front and the textures of Early American life. Here twelve-year-old Joanna Hale's impressions of the year brother Nathan was hanged record her anticipation of the sugaring off, her observations on the construction of the large family's new home, and--in accordance with schoolmaster Nathan's encouragement of female education--her reading of Cato and Common Sense, which she attaches to her distaff while spinning. Meanwhile her not-so-stern father quotes scripture and farmer Nathan'l Wright names his new evil-tempered oxen Reprobate, Papist, Fire, Brimstone, Sin, and Satan. When the bad news about Nathan comes, there is ""clamoring and weeping"" at the table and ""Father spoke real sharp to the Lord God Jehovah, saying he hoped this awful news was without any substance whatsoever."" Few authors could so successfully intersperse news from Nathan with a three-page summary of Pa's explanation of the Revolution's background, an even longer lesson in weaving, and Grandma'am's recital of family history, which touches on such key events as the French and Indian War. Monjo's decorous reconstruction (with exemplary source notes appended) is conscientious and engaging as always, more rounded than ever.