Written from a Canadian perspective, this well-researched and -documented historical novel offers young readers a fascinating perspective on the events following the American Revolution and leading up to the War of 1812.
Laura Ingersoll Secord spent her early years in Great Barrington, Mass., before emigrating with her parents to Upper Canada (Southern Ontario) during the tumultuous years following the American Revolution and Shay’s Rebellion. Although sometimes the historical details threaten to overwhelm the story, and the dialogue seems stilted, for the most part pivotal and gripping incidents propel the story forward. These incidents also reveal Laura’s strength of character, building a believable foundation for her rescue of her husband and her dramatic journey on foot to warn the Canadians of an impending American attack during the War of 1812. Covering a span of over 25 years, from 1787 through 1813, the tension between history and story keeps the book from being entirely successful as either. Nevertheless, the author tells a good story and presents some fascinating and little-known history (including such issues as slavery, economics, and social justice) in an interesting way. A historical note, sources and maps supplement the account.
An opportunity for American children to see a little-known war through a rarely considered lens. (Historical fiction. 10-14)