by Lucille Recht Penner
Illustrated by David Wenzel
Finished: Feb. 9, 2009
First Published: 1998
Genre: children, non-fiction, history
Reason for Reading: Read to the 8yo as part of our curriculum.
"Long Live the King!"
Comments: This book is part of our curriculum and at first I wasn't going to read it as usually children's books on this topic are extremely patriotic and unusable by any other than Americans. As a Canadian, I started to read a bit myself first and was pleased with the text so I did read it to the 8yo after all. A very balanced overview is given of how the revolution began, was fought and won. The book tells the story from an almost unbiased opinion and I read straight from the text, for the most part. The tarring and feathering of Loyalists was even mentioned and I did not feel the need to add any 'extra' Canadian content except for minor instances to remind the 8yo that the British were not the bad guys but were us, Canada at the time. And of course, I'm balancing the material by reading from a Canadian history book as well.
So, very pleased with the presentation of the facts and the bold illustrations. Each chapter is presented in a two page profusely illustrated spread. The text is interesting and engaging. My son enjoyed it every time I got the book out, as we read it over a period of a few weeks. Americans will definitely be pleased with book and those from other countries will certainly be able to use the book to learn US history without the over-emphatic patriotism often present in these types of children's books.