Emma's Journal: The Story of a Colonial Girl

Overview

The year is 1774, and the British army has blockaded Boston. Ten-year-old Emma is stuck at Aunt Harmony's house in the city, far from her family. Emma desperately wants to help the American struggle for freedom. When Papa gives her a secret code the militia uses, she finally gets her chance to change the course of history.

From 1774 to 1776, Emma describes in her journal her stay in Boston, where she witnesses the British blockade...

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Overview

The year is 1774, and the British army has blockaded Boston. Ten-year-old Emma is stuck at Aunt Harmony's house in the city, far from her family. Emma desperately wants to help the American struggle for freedom. When Papa gives her a secret code the militia uses, she finally gets her chance to change the course of history.

From 1774 to 1776, Emma describes in her journal her stay in Boston, where she witnesses the British blockade and spies for the American militia. Features hand-printed text, drawings, and marginal notes.

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Editorial Reviews

Outside
A seductive introduction to the period." -School Library Journal
From The Critics
Marissa Moss' talents, imagination, and industry seems to have no end! Handwritten and illustrated by the author, this historically-based fictional diary of a colonial girl named Emma is both entertaining and educational! A great gift choice for girls. 2001, Harcourt Brace & Company, $7.00. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: A. Braga SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
Children's Literature - Nancy Partridge
With the plethora of middle grade historical novels on the market, it's interesting to see how each publishing house strives for individuality. This book has lots of fresh ideas, such as hand-printed text and lined pages that appear yellowed with age, giving it the look of an authentic old diary. Another great idea is a postcard tucked inside the book for kids to send. The story itself is told in language from the period, which adds texture and a strong voice. Ten-year-old Emma leaves the family farm in Menetomy to live with her Aunt Harmony in Boston. It is 1774, and this is a Boston torn apart in the ferment of the Revolution. Given a secret code by her father with which to pass on any information she hears, Emma is able to serve the cause she loves so much. Important figures of this period parade through Emma's life, and they are described with the sometimes mischievous and honest eye of a young girl. Well-rounded characters and some sensitive insights into the struggles of the early colonists make for a very interesting history lesson. The book is part of the "Young American Voices" series.
Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Caught in the British blockade of Boston from 1774 to 1776 and separated from her family, young Emma describes the events she witnesses or overhears. While she works at her elderly aunt's boarding house, she meets or hears about such famous figures as Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, George Washington, and Dr. Joseph Warren, as well as British General Burgoyne, Governor Gage, and others. The story unfolds with secret messages, spying, snippets of rude songs printed in the margins that are sure to provoke giggles, and Emma's trials with the vain young Tory boarder, Thankful, who is in love with a British soldier. Emma's final entries tell of the reunion with her family and of the stirring reading of the "Proclamation of Independence" in July of 1776. As in Moss's "Amelia" journals (Tricycle) and her Rachel's Journal (Harcourt, 1998), information appears in tiny drawings or souvenir bits "pasted" in the margins. The handwritten text is eye-catching and printed on aged, lined yellow paper. An author's note separates fact from fiction, provides extra information on women spies in the Revolution, and reveals the author's sources. All in all, a seductive introduction to the period, especially for readers who remain neutral to textbook accounts.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152163259
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: Young American Voices Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 794,707
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.82 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.18 (d)

Meet the Author

MARISSA MOSS is best known for her handwritten illustrated journals, including the enormously popular Amelia series. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2008

    Quality historical fiction

    Moss. M. (1999). Emma¿s Journal: The Story of a Colonial Girl. New York: Scholastic. Synopsis: The story, based during Colonial times, is about, Emma, a ten year old who leaves her family farm for Boston to be her aunt¿s servant girl. Also living with she and her aunt is Thankful, a loyalist whom was sent by her uncle to learn the piano, penmanship, and more about becoming a lady. Emma is sad through most of the story because she is sad she is away from her family. She spends her time cleaning and spying on the Brittish. Her goal is to be a hero and becomes one when she has Amos bring a message to Colonel Presscott telling him that attacks were going to be made on various American¿s. Luckily, the partriot soldiers were able to get a head start, and while many American¿s died, her message still save many. Hard times follow with the small pox outbreak, food is scarce, and their colony is being destroyed by the Brittish. George Washington, tne newly appointed would lead the army, and the colonies from British Rule. The story ends two weeks after the Declaration of Independence. Emma concludes with contentment of being back with her family and pride for all who helped contribute to the beginning of the United States of America. Evaluation: The book portrays the heart of a patriotic Colonial girl and the risks she takes to me more than just a servant girl. One clear strength of the book is the author¿s ability to identify heroism as the common theme and goal for many of the characters presented in the book, especially Emma. The author¿s note informs the reader that through researching and reading many journals of women and girls during this time period enabled the author to provide first hand accounts of what it was like at the time to be a female. Values of which individuals held were clearly reflected through characters presented as loyalists and patriots. Furthermore, the dialogue is realistic to the time period. While some vocabulary seemed advanced for any ten-year despite the time period, humor and different figures of speech are evident in the book. Noted Americans and references to specific events, such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, which are typically addressed in text books, are described in this book in an easy to understand manner. This text would be best suited for any gender in fourth and fifth grade. While the narrator of the story is a female, males can relate to the other multiple characters introduced and held in high regard for their patriotism and heroism. The author has written related works such as Hannah¿s Journal: The Story of a Girl in the Depression. Both stories share historical events, but use a fictional character to help reflect how individuals, specifically children, felt during both time periods. References: Moss, M. (2001). Hannah¿s Journal: The Story of a Girl in the Depression. New York: Scholastic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2004

    Great Book!

    Although you can't get much off the beginning, once the first page is turned, it's an awesome book full of excitement and action and lots of fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2002

    This book is really good!

    This book is really good and I liked it. You should really read it because you will probably like it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2001

    Emma's Journal

    This book was truly epic and exciting. It really helps you understand what colonial children went throught.I recomend this book to anyone who likes a true adventure

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    Emma's Journal By:Marissa Moss

    This was a good book. It really helps you understand the colonial life for a child. The things Emma goes throught are truly epic and exciting! I recommend this book to anyone who likes true adventure.

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