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DANIEL AT THE SIEGE OF BOSTON 1776 by Laurie Calkhoven


by Laurie Calkhoven

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-42144-3
Publisher: Dutton

Twelve-year-old Daniel Prescott becomes a man during the siege of Boston in the early days of the American Revolution. Coming of age in the crucible of war is a common theme in literature, and Calkhoven carries it off well, placing Daniel in the midst of many of the key historical events. There’s an unfortunate Forrest Gump quality to stories like this, which aim to teach history to young readers: The protagonist seems to be everywhere—overhearing the British plan to sabotage the Sons of Liberty; helping John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren; being at Bunker Hill; meeting General Washington; even uncovering treacherous acts that could determine the outcome of the Patriots’ efforts. But young readers will learn much about the period, and the excellent backmatter is a fine resource, including solid suggestions for further reading. Two archival maps are provided, but a map drawn specifically for the volume would have been more useful in showing sites essential to Daniel’s narrative. Overall, though, a fine introduction to the times for an audience not yet ready for Johnny Tremain. (historical note, children’s roles in the American Revolution, historic characters, timeline, glossary) (Historical fiction. 8-12)