VICTORY OR DEATH! by Doreen Rappaport
Kirkus Star


Stories of the American Revolution
Age Range: 8 - 12
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With a knack for seeing the story in history, Rappaport (We are the Many, 2002, etc.) and Verniero offer real-life accounts of heroes of the American Revolution. Lively tales portray the famous and the not-yet-celebrated: the Indians, women, people of African descent, patriots, loyalists, a slave who was a spy, and a woman who fought as a man. Arranged chronologically, the stories begin at the Battle of Bunker Hill and include Abigail Adams at home during the British occupation of Boston while John is in Philadelphia, and Washington crossing the Delaware to fight the Battle of Trenton. Less well-known is Francis Salvador, a Jewish nobleman who left the persecutions of Europe to work for freedom and independence in South Carolina. Or James Armistead, a slave who became a spy for Lafayette, and Deborah Samson, who fought at the end of the war as Robert Shurtliff. What is often a dry memorizing of facts in history class is given vigorous and original treatment here. Each story is set in its historical context, and readers will learn a good deal of history and gain a sense of the ebb and flow of the war. An important addition to the huge body of literature about the Revolution and a model of excellent historical writing. (introduction, timeline, maps, index, sources) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-029515-5
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2003


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