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Children's LiteratureA dozen men and women whose courage and determination to seek freedom changed history are depicted in this quick overview. Adler has condensed information, salient facts, and memorable quotes in a three-to-five paragraph pocket biography of well-known figures like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, Ethan Allan, Nathan Hale, Molly Pitcher, John Paul Jones, and Crispus Attucks. He also includes Haym Salomon, a noted financier who bailed out the struggling revolution by loaning money to pay soldiers; Deborah Sampson who, disguised as a man, fought in the war until wounded; and Lydia Darragh, a servant who spied for the patriots. Each person's dates of birth and death are given along with the paragraphs. Smith's unconvincing and wooden depictions of these heroes get the job done, in the manner of textbook illustrations, but add little interest. Endnotes include a fascinating fact or two about each hero which children will enjoy adding to their overview. Important dates from 1760 to 1783 give an overview of the Revolution and source notes are included. Because Adler includes scholarly source notes, he had to feature these references in his selected bibliography, sources of interest to adults only. But he thus missed a chance to guide his readers to further reading, such as books by Jim Giblin, Jean Fritz, or even Adler's previous "Picture Book Biography" series. And Adler's tantalizing glimpses of these heroes will provoke many to search out further information. 2003, Holiday House, Ages 6 to 10.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.