Dangerous Crossing: The Revolutionary Voyage of John Quincy Adams

Dangerous Crossing: The Revolutionary Voyage of John Quincy Adams

by Stephen Krensky, Greg Harlin
     
 

In February 1778, at the height of the Revolutionary War, the American representative from Massachusetts, John Adams, is sent on a secret mission to France. It is dangerous to cross the Atlantic in winter, but the situation is desperate-the colonies need France's help against the British army. Adams is accompanied by his ten-year-old son, Johnny. Together, father

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Overview

In February 1778, at the height of the Revolutionary War, the American representative from Massachusetts, John Adams, is sent on a secret mission to France. It is dangerous to cross the Atlantic in winter, but the situation is desperate-the colonies need France's help against the British army. Adams is accompanied by his ten-year-old son, Johnny. Together, father and son must weather an angry ocean, perilous sea battles, and other dangers to help the colonies achieve freedom.
Vivid illustrations and a fast-paced narrative bring to life this little-told story of a character-defining event in the lives of two future presidents.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
History comes to life in this well told account of a voyage from Boston to France that John Adams made in 1778 with his ten year old son Johnny (future president John Quincy Adams). The point of view is that of the ten year experiencing rough weather, threats from hostile British frigates and all of the other dangers inherent in the long transatlantic voyage. The third person perspective in the book is that of young Johnny but it also includes actual passages from John Adams diary. Harlin's illustrations are done as three-quarter spreads that will help young readers visualize how things looked in a very different time. The realistic watercolors complement the vivid language of the text. This book does what good history does: many who pick it up will not be familiar with the names of these two early presidents; however the book will draw them in, building appreciation of the many kinds of dangers and challenges that the founders of our nation faced to forge the nation we have become. 2005, Dutton Children's Books/Penguin, Ages 7 to 9.
—Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-During the winter of 1778, while the colonies were still at war with England, John Adams and his 10-year-old son made an uncomfortable transatlantic crossing on the Boston in an effort to enlist French support for the struggling American cause. Fears and predictions of danger materialized in the form of encounters with British ships and a huge storm. Although Johnny is the cameo character, it is through many of John Adams's own thoughts as revealed through his actual diary that readers get a glimpse of the threats and hardships endured during their voyage. While Johnny's experience can stand alone as an adventure story, having at least a rudimentary familiarity with the American Revolution would enhance children's appreciation for why the boy and his father were taking such risks. Some of the vocabulary, particularly passages from Adams's diary, may require adult help, but for the most part, the text is fairly easy, and the map and watercolor illustrations support it well. The masterful watercolor paintings not only depict the action but also show period clothing and nautical surroundings from many interesting perspectives. This is engaging historical fiction with illustrations that truly bring the story to life. Pair it with Jan Cheripko's Caesar Rodney's Ride (Boyds Mills, 2004) to explore travel during colonial times as well as the self-sacrifice and bravery of America's founders.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525469667
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
12/16/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.38(w) x 8.81(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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