In today’s countdown to Independence Day, we will take a look at another classic, My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier. It is a Newbery Honor book and was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and nominated for a National Book Award in 1975. This powerful and thought-provoking tale recounts the experiences of Tim Meeker during the American Revolution. While Tim’s father is a loyalist, his brother is a patriot. This ideological conflict results in the breakup of Tim’s family with disastrous consequences. This novel does an excellent job of presenting each side of the Revolution and demonstrating how it was really the original civil war. This story also proves the old adage that freedom is never free.
Today I present a two for one deal in our countdown to Independence Day. The “Dear America” books are a series of historical fiction stories written in the form of diaries from different periods of history. There are two that take place during the Revolutionary War. The first one, The Winter of the Red Snow, recounts the experiences of Abigail Jane Stewart as she serves Washington’s army and witnesses their struggles during their winter at Valley Forge. The second, The Journal of William Thomas Emerson: A Revolutionary War Patriot, is set in Massachusetts and details William’s adventures as a rebel spy. Each book provides a vivid depiction of the Revolution and, when read together, imparts to the reader a thorough understanding of the war. I have always loved diaries and personal letters (and have kept a regular journal since I was a little girl). They provide such an intimate perspective into the time period in which they are written. This format gives a depth to these two books that they wouldn’t otherwise have. So settle in and get ready to travel back in time with these two tales!
In our countdown to Independence Day, the next book I present to you is Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. This classic tale, winner of the 1944 Newbery Medal, is a must-read for anyone interested in the Revolutionary War. The main protagonist’s journey overcoming adversity and finding new purpose working for the patriotic Boston Observer and the Sons of Liberty takes the reader through many of the seminal events of the American Revolution. Along with Johnny, the audience encounters luminaries of the Revolution such as John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. This story was also turned into an excellent Disney movie starring Hal Stalmaster as the title character. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do!
Today marks one week until Independence Day. As a Daughter of the American Revolution, this day holds much significance for me and my family. It is one of one of my favorite holidays and I look forward to it every summer. For the next week, I will highlight books guaranteed to put you in a patriotic mood.
I will start this countdown with one of my favorite series of books as a girl, Felicity: An American Girl. I have such fond memories of my parents reading me those stories when I was little. I wanted to be just like Felicity. I relished taking horseback riding, guitar and etiquette lessons. I also completed a sewing sampler (with help from my grandmother who taught me to sew) and dressed up as Felicity for Halloween. The sweet tales with their themes of friendship, loyalty and standing for principles would captivate me for hours. They also made want to learn as much as possible about the Revolutionary War. Not only are the stories fun to read, but they also include a section at the end with historical background. This feature gives readers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Revolution – an absolute must for a history nut like me! I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do!