VICTORY OR DEATH!

STORIES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

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 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-029515-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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IF YOU LIVED DURING THE PLIMOTH THANKSGIVING

A measured corrective to pervasive myths about what is often referred to as the “first Thanksgiving.”

Contextualizing them within a Native perspective, Newell (Passamaquoddy) touches on the all-too-familiar elements of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and its origins and the history of English colonization in the territory now known as New England. In addition to the voyage and landfall of the Mayflower, readers learn about the Doctrine of Discovery that arrogated the lands of non-Christian peoples to European settlers; earlier encounters between the Indigenous peoples of the region and Europeans; and the Great Dying of 1616-1619, which emptied the village of Patuxet by 1620. Short, two- to six-page chapters alternate between the story of the English settlers and exploring the complex political makeup of the region and the culture, agriculture, and technology of the Wampanoag—all before covering the evolution of the holiday. Refreshingly, the lens Newell offers is a Native one, describing how the Wampanoag and other Native peoples received the English rather than the other way around. Key words ranging from estuary to discover are printed in boldface in the narrative and defined in a closing glossary. Nelson (a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa) contributes soft line-and-color illustrations of the proceedings. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Essential. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-72637-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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FARMER GEORGE PLANTS A NATION

A pleasing new picture book looks at George Washington’s career through an agricultural lens. Sprinkling excerpts from his letters and diaries throughout to allow its subject to speak in his own voice, the narrative makes a convincing case for Washington’s place as the nation’s First Farmer. His innovations, in addition to applying the scientific method to compost, include a combination plow-tiller-harrow, the popularization of the mule and a two-level barn that put horses to work at threshing grain in any weather. Thomas integrates Washington’s military and political adventures into her account, making clear that it was his frustration as a farmer that caused him to join the revolutionary cause. Lane’s oil illustrations, while sometimes stiff, appropriately portray a man who was happiest when working the land. Backmatter includes a timeline, author’s notes on both Mount Vernon and Washington the slaveholder, resources for further exploration and a bibliography. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59078-460-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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