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KING GEORGE by Steve Sheinkin


What Was His Problem?: Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn’t Tell You About the American Revolution

by Steve Sheinkin & illustrated by Tim Robinson

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59643-319-9
Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

For middle-graders who find Joy Hakim’s 11-volume A History of US just too daunting, historian Sheinkin offers a more digestible version of our country’s story—opening with an account of the American Revolution from the despised but not-unreasonable Stamp Act to the dramatic race to Yorktown. Beneath breezy chapter subheads like “Revere and That Other Guy” and “Party at Fort Ti,” the author expertly combines individual stories with sweeping looks at the larger picture—tucking in extracts from letters, memorable anecdotes, pithy characterizations (“…John Adams, well known lawyer, Patriot, and grump”) and famous lines with a liberal hand. Except for a few cramped maps, Robinson’s illustrations are all line-drawn cartoon portraits that echo the narrative’s informality without adding much. Still, capped with a healthy “Whatever Happened To…” section, this animates the Revolution’s times, events and people in a way that standard textbooks don’t. A second volume on the Civil War, Two Miserable Presidents (ISBN: 978-1-59643-320-5-0), is also out. (index, adult-level source lists) (Nonfiction. 10-13)