Happy New Year, and thanks to everyone who participated in the American Revolution Reading Challenge in 2013. Here are the last of the participant reviews. If we’ve missed any reviews throughout the year, please feel free to link to them in the comments.
Before we shift to the reviews, we want to invite you all to participate in the 2014 challenge, which we’re doing a bit differently this year. For all the details and to sign up, click here.
Under The Boardwalk reviewed The Turncoat by Donna Thorland:
A suspenseful thrill ride that takes place during the winter of 1777. A wonderful debut I couldn’t put down. I look forward to the next book in the Renegades of the Revolution series.
The Children’s War reviewed the movie Felicity, An American Girl:
There are lots of historical elements in Felicity besides being an engaging coming of age story. The two sides, patriot and loyalist, are explained clearly in the context of the story so that young viewers will have no trouble understanding the events that led to the American Revolution. And in keeping with the themes of freedom, independence, and responsibility, the practice of apprenticeship is also clearly presented.
The Children’s War also reviewed Friends of Liberty by Bernice Gormley:
As a historical novel, there is lots of information about the political unrest in Boston, though I think it presupposes some knowledge of the time period. I believe that Friends of Liberty would, however, be a good companion book to read while studying the events leading up the the American Revolution.
Scrappy Cat reviewed April Morning by Howard Fast:
When a horseman comes through to let the town know that the British are on the march, Adam signs the muster book and joins the battle. He must grow up literally overnight. The book is very well written and I rate it 4 out of 5.
Books and Movies reviewed Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes:
I remember reading this as a kid, and when I assigned it to Jonathan for literature this year, I knew I would read it, too. I wanted to revisit it, as well as show Jonathan that I didn’t just assign him books that I wouldn’t enjoy reading myself. Also, it fit into the War Through the Generations Challenge. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it as much as I remembered as a kid.
Scrappy Cat also reviewed The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson:
I never knew before reading this book that slaves fought in the Revolutionary War in lieu of their masters; this was quite shocking to me. I thought the book was well written and I rate it 4 out of 5.
Diary of an Eccentric reviewed Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson:
Anderson’s novel is geared toward middle-grade readers, but there is much for adults to admire as well. The passages from relevant historical documents at the beginning of every chapter were informative and paved the way for further research. Anderson doesn’t sugar-coat the cruelties of slavery and war, but she doesn’t go overboard with graphic descriptions either.
Impressions In Ink “reviewed” The Declaration of Independence & The Constitution of the United States:
To review the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States seems redundant; instead, this post will be on how I feel about an amendment that is often in the news. … People who dislike reading would be attracted to this tiny book. I make this assessment because browsing the book store or shopping on Amazon, a reader would be inclined to find a lengthier book on the subject of important American documents.We may not “agree” with what people say, but thank goodness for the founding fathers, important American documents (which include our “freedom of speech.”)
Annie’s Book Reviews reviewed Masquerade: The Life & Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier by Alfred F. Young:
Honestly, I was dreading reading this book. Not because of the premise, it sounded like a great story, but because there is a general perception that such non-fiction historical works can be rather dryly written, uninspiring and quite boring to read. I was very much surprised to find the complete opposite. This is a fantastically enjoyable book, Youngs enthusiasm for his subject and the details of the period are infectious, entertaining and inspiring.
Jayne’s Books reviewed The Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana Gregory:
I like how the author put enough facts into the book to make the reader intrigued to further research, if they are interested in such a thing, but also put enough fiction so that the reader can actually enjoy the story. It also is fairly clean enough, with the exception of a few scenes in which there are some amputations, etc, but nothing too graphic, to parents not worry about the content of this particular series.
Bookworm’s Dinner reviewed Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for American Independence by Carol Berkin:
Whether the women were involved in actually fighting, which they were or travelling along side their spouse, women of all races had numerous roles to satisfy. Chapters detail the various roles women played in Colonial Society and during and after the war. There were those who were left home, others who followed, some were General’s wives, or loyalists in exile, Indian Women, African American Women and many women became spies or couriers.
Bookworm’s Dinner also reviewed Forgotten Patriots: An Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War by Edwin G. Burrows:
This is a part of American History that missed the textbooks in school. It was a surprise to me. Perhaps if you live in the area of New York and New Jersey, you are aware of this unspeakable part of history. Truly, it really has been forgotten. It took over one hundred years to dedicate a monument to these patriots.
Thanks to all the readers who made this challenge a success!