HANNAH OF FAIRFIELD by Jean Van Leeuwen

HANNAH OF FAIRFIELD

Age Range: 7 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

By 1776 the British army had taken control of two key areas, New York City and Long Island Sound. For Hannah, nine, and her family, the troops are a real threat to their community, just across the sound in Fairfield, Connecticut. Hannah’s older brother Ben wants to go join the forces under General Washington, but his father will have none of it at first; when British warships are sighted he reluctantly gives the boy his blessing. For two days the female members of the household spin, weave, and sew suitable clothing; Hannah, who has never been good at domestic duties, is afraid she won’t be able to do her part, but masters her chores. Van Leeuwen makes this story—the first in the Pioneer Daughters trilogy—compelling through the picture of daily life during the era: Everyone does everything that needed to be done, whether they wanted to or not. It’s clear that Hannah has plans beyond the household; her saving of a baby lamb, and the influence of her Granny Hannah, who was a midwife and nurse, indicate that someday she will move on, but meanwhile, there is work to be done for the family’s survival. Her story—especially the details that are usually relegated to sidebars and laundry lists in history books—will entertain and inspire anyone who is interested in the past. (b&w illustrations, not seen, map) (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8037-2335-0
Page count: 87pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999




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