THE WHITE HOUSE IS BURNING by Jane Sutcliffe

THE WHITE HOUSE IS BURNING

August 24, 1814
Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

A graceful narrative skillfully draws from primary sources to shed light on a key historic day.

In 1814, the United States lost a battle to the British on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., with shocking results. American soldiers fled from the battlefield, and many residents of the capital fled from the city. “Then the unthinkable: foreign invaders marching into Washington, torching first the Capitol building, then the White House,” reads the introduction to this history. The chapters that follow detail the day, starting before dawn and going through night, with two final chapters about the aftermath. Sutcliffe deftly sets the battle and invasion in the context of the War of 1812, introduces major players, and explains unfamiliar material, like the use of rockets as weapons. Quotes from those involved make the tale personal, with reminiscences of a 15-year-old tourist, two young slaves and a British officer. Many apt observations come from first lady Dolley Madison, who wrote a letter throughout the day as she waited bravely in the White House until danger was imminent. The polished prose is matched by an attractive, open design with frequent headings, pullout quotes and effective visuals, including paintings, etchings and maps.

Elegant and illuminating. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-58089-656-6
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014




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