Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PATRIOTS IN PETTICOATS by Shirley Raye Redmond


Heroines of the American Revolution

by Shirley Raye Redmond

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 2004
ISBN: 0-375-82357-3
Publisher: Random House

Redmond shares title and topic with Patricia Clyne’s 1976 (long o.p.) collective biography, but offers more profiles—24, plus shorter references—at an easier reading level. Along with better known figures, such as Deborah Sampson, Betsy Ross, and Sibyl Ludington, she relates colorful, courageous exploits from such local heroes as Mammy Kate, a slave who carried her master out of captivity in a laundry basket, the Oneida Polly Cooper, Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson’s successful effort to free her son (and later president) Andy, and not one but two “Molly Pitchers.” Writing for children who have to be told what a “petticoat” is, the author keeps her language simple, underplaying grisly details, as well as violence done by and to Native Americans in the war. She pauses frequently for side essays: on the education of colonial women, on Ben Franklin’s efforts to have the turkey declared the national bird, etc. She closes with a vague tribute to “women patriots” today, meaning, apparently, anyone in uniform or community service. Illustrated with a mix of 19th-century art and modern photos of monuments or artifacts, this entry in the venerable Landmark Books series will serve equally well as middle-grade assignment fodder or a consciousness raiser. (timeline, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)