Two young apprentices in colonial New York get involved in the most controversial event of their day--the arrest and trial of printer Peter Zenger. In 1734, Gus is apprenticed to Zenger's old master, William Bradford, whose authority he begins to question when the old man decides not to print news of the trial. Urged on by his fiery friend Zach (a lawyer's apprentice), Gus undertakes a mission on Zenger's behalf that helps bring about the printer's acquittal. Sorel's many b&w illustrations provide comic relief and, in the case of Gus's paper-making lesson, information as well. The details of typesetting, ink-making, as well as other aspects of colonial life, are far more vivid than the characters, who are one-dimensional, and little more than the sum of their attitudes. But Krensky (The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps, 1994, etc.) makes good use of historical fact, his plot moves along smoothly, and the ideas and ideals are worth reading about; for many readers, this first meeting with Peter Zenger may not be their last.