Tag archives for Revolutionary War
BOOK NAME: Toliver’s Secret
AUTHOR: Esther Wood Brady
Ellen Toliver lives in New York with her mom and grandfather during the American Revolution.
She leads the normal life of a young girl, except for the fact that her house is filled with
redcoats (British soldiers). Her grandfather is a barber, and all of the soldiers come to his shop.
One day, Ellen catches her mother baking a snuffbox inside a loaf of bread. When she asks what
the purpose of this mysterious bread is, her mother merely dismisses the question. Ellen gets
suspicious. Why would her mother be baking a loaf of bread with a snuffbox hidden inside?
When her grandfather is injured on the ice, Ellen finds out the story. Her grandfather is a spy for
the Americans, and in that snuffbox is an important message for General Washington. Ellen’s
grandfather was going to deliver the message, but now he can’t!
Suddenly, it’s all up to Ellen. She will deliver the message. The instructions sound simple
enough: Disguise yourself as a boy, cut your hair, go to the harbor, get a boat ride to Elizabeth-
town, and give the loaf of bread to a man named Mr. Shannon. Ellen agrees to take the
message for her grandfather. Yet everything goes wrong! First, she ends up on a ship filled with
British soldiers, and then she ends up ten miles away from where she has to be! At times, Ellen
feels like turning back and going home, but she doesn’t give up. The entire country is depending
I really enjoyed this book. It may be easy for kids ages 10 and up, but is still definitely a great
read! Ellen’s display of courage and determination is something we can all learn from. I would
definitely recommend this book to anyone.
BOOK NAME: The Fighting Ground
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a soldier when you grow up? Have you ever thought of what it might feel like experiencing war? Well then you would want to read The Fighting Ground by Avi.
Jonathan, a 13 year old boy has always dreamed of fighting in the Revolutionary War, battling the British and winning glory. When the tavern bell rings, calling soldiers to battle, Jonathan knows his dream is close to coming true. Soon, he is with the Americans, carrying his gun, following the path to the battle site. During the battle against the Hessians (German allies of the British) Jonathan is exhausted and is caught prisoner by three Hessians. He and the Hessians finally seek shelter at an abandoned house. Here Jonathan finds a young boy whose parents are killed and he wonders who killed them. Jonathan is left confused as to which side in the war is he really. When the truth about the boy’s parents is revealed, along with the other incidents, Jonathan realizes the horrors of war.
This is a Newbery Medal winner novel which is simple to read. It is very unique because the plot takes place in only one day. Because of this reason, there are no chapters; rather small sections identified by the time, for example 5:40 and then an incident. Since the book focuses in on war, readers get a clear picture of what it is like to be in a battle. Jonathan’s change in attitude towards the war shows how experience can change a person’s view point.
BOOK NAME: Chains
AUTHOR: Laurie Halse Anderson
Isabel, the main character in this book, is headstrong and hopeful during times of struggle. Chains, a historical fiction book written by Laurie Halse Anderson tells Isabel’s story. This book shows that if you have determination, even when there are lots of challenges, you can still succeed.
After their mother died, Isabel, a young slave girl, is sold along with her sister Ruth to cruel masters, the Locktons. Here, as a slave during the Revolutionary War in New York, she is forced to do various chores for her Loyalist owners. She, however, understands the true cruelty of Madam Lockton when they sell Ruth away from Isabel. Isabel cannot bear this and therefore tries to run away. She is unable to and returns to the house. Also, Isabel has to make up her mind whether to favor the British or the Americans. She secretly helps out American prisoners including her friend Curzon. But, most of all, Isabel keeps on thinking about her freedom. Will she ever be able to earn it?
I would definitely suggest this exciting read to ages 10 and above. It is told from a slave, Isabel’s, point of view, giving an in-depth view into slavery. Also, this book portrays mood so strongly that you go through Isabel’s feelings and pain. Interestingly, the book is written in journal form and at the beginning of every chapter there is a quote which I liked to read. After reading this book, I’m definitely going to read its sequel Forge.
Want another opinion? Read Sheila’s review!
BOOK NAME: Chains
AUTHOR: Laurie Halse Anderson
Chains takes place during the Revolutionary War, a time in history when we were trying to make our own country. This is a story about one particular African slave, Isabel, who fights unfair circumstances and treatment. During these trying times, she questions herself and her life, and has many doubts. Isabel lives with her owner and is set to be freed upon the owner’s death. However, she is sold to cruel, unpleasant people who are loyal to the British. Since this story takes place in New York City while the war is happening, Isabel has a front row seat to lots of action. She faces much danger, but does her part to fight for both her freedom and that of her new country.
One time as a punishment, she is given a scar on her cheek in the shape of the letter S. The S stands for insolence and it causes her much humiliation. But after all her trials, she begins to take pride in the letter and says it really stands for Isabel. The story ends with a surprise, so I wont’ give it away, but I can tell you to never give up! I learned from Isabel that there is always hope, even in the bleakest situations. In fact, hope may be the only thing you have to get you through difficult times.
I really like historical fiction because you get a better insight as to the issues people faced during a specific time period. In Chains, you can better appreciate the horrors of both slavery and war. I also chose this book because it was nominated for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award and these books are always a good read. This is one of the better books I’ve read, so I really wanted to stay up all night to finish it. I think everyone should read this book to see the mistakes of the past so we can avoid making them in the future.
BOOK NAME: Woods Runner
AUTHOR: Gary Paulsen
This book is a good historical fiction because it has a lot of Revolutionary War facts and a lot of action combined into one book. After every chapter, Gary Paulsen picked one important fact about the Revolutionary War and it would usually be a fact on the chapter you just read. Gary Paulsen actually used all of the guns in the book to get the feeling of them for the story.
The book is about a 13-year-old boy named Samuel who loves hunting and lives in a cabin with his Mom and Dad. He was out hunting one day because he feels so calm and relaxed in the woods. But before he went out, one of his neighbors told him there was a war in Massachusetts. He turned back because he heard something behind him and he saw smoke. He thought of the British Army, and he sprinted back…
I’m not going to tell you the rest because I want you to get the book and read it, but it’s about adventure and survival.
I’ve written a review on another Gary Paulsen book: Hatchet. Woods Runner is Paulsen’s newest book. It was published in 2010. It’s different than Hatchet because it’s historical fiction and Hatchet doesn’t really have any history. In Woods Runner there are more characters than Hatchet where there’s really on Brian, the main character. Gary Paulsen also read diaries from kids in the Revolutionary War so that he could get actually know how people like Samuel actually felt and acted.