The Journal of William Thomas Emerson, a Revolutionary War Patriot (Dear America Series)

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Overview

Set in Massachusetts, this is the story of a boy surrounded by the politics and violence of war, who becomes a spy for the rebel colonists.

William, a twelve-year-old orphan, writes of his experiences in pre-Revolutionary War Boston where he joins the cause of the patriots who are opposed to the British rule.

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1998 Hard cover New. Glued binding. Paper over boards. 156 p. Contains: Illustrations. My Name Is America. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview

Set in Massachusetts, this is the story of a boy surrounded by the politics and violence of war, who becomes a spy for the rebel colonists.

William, a twelve-year-old orphan, writes of his experiences in pre-Revolutionary War Boston where he joins the cause of the patriots who are opposed to the British rule.

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Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Chris Crowe
A part of the "My Name is America" series, this is the "journal" of a 12-year-old orphan who has run away to Boston in 1774 to escape the overbearing family that took him in when his parents died. While in Boston, Will finds a job in a tavern/boarding house where American patriots meet clandestinely to plot against the occupying British. Will soon gains their confidence and accepts small assignments to gather intelligence about British strategies. His journal ends in the spring of 1775, shortly before the Battle of Bunker Hill. This fictional journal is sprinkled generously with specific historical detail which when combined with Will's first-person account of events in Boston will give young readers a sense of "being there" in a part of American history. Will's voice remains consistent throughout the story, reporting the feelings and observation from the perspective of a 12-year-old. Will's journal is followed by an epilogue, a helpful historical note, and seven pages of engravings that illustrate historical events or items referred to in Will's journal. Students who enjoyed Catherine Called Birdy or other books in the "My Name is America" series are sure to like this one.
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
This diary-formatted novel, like many other books in the "Dear America" series; puts the story back into history. Told from the point of view of young orphan, William Thomas Emerson, the Revolutionary War is about people, their feelings, and the events that happen around them. Gone are the images of ever-ready minutemen and their united-for-the-cause family, friends, neighbors, and leaders. The story, as told here in short journal entries, is about fear and confrontation, loyalty and uncertainty among colonists, Redcoats, patriots, and government leaders alike. It is the story of a group of real people (even if in this case they happen to be fictional) who, though caught up in extraordinary events, are no more brave nor unfeeling than the readers themselves. Real history, like the story of William Thomas Emerson, is the story of what happened to real people with real families and real hopes and real fears. What better way to teach history to young readers in the hopes that they can learn from it rather than being doomed to repeat it?
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-This first-person account of a 12-year-old boy makes the world of Boston in 1774 come alive. William Thomas Emerson, an orphan, has found work with the kind proprietor of a tavern. In his journal, the boy describes the practical and moral difficulties that citizens of that city encountered on the eve of the Revolution. He writes of food shortages, patriots, traitors, and deserters, and describes daily life, public punishment, and medical treatments. Denenberg engages readers with a bit of intrigue, but it is the integrity and humanity of ordinary people that make this book inspirational. An epilogue summarizes the lives of the characters introduced and includes historical reproductions and a brief account of the actual events that followed the year covered in the journal. Quality historical fiction that should attract a wide audience.-Ann M. Burlingame, North Regional Library, Raleigh, NC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590313506
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: My Name Is America
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 7.68 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 24, 2008

    About face!

    A boy has to go into the patriot war to fight for his country, but first he has to learn how to fight. His name is William Thomas Emerson. He does not have a father because he died in war. William is impressionable. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. In Boston, Mr. Heath is his priest, and he also knows Mr. Marsh which is a farmer that helps William grow his crops. When he gets to try to serve his country, he has to work with guns and grenades. William is scared, but he wants to be like his father. His father was brave because he survived in a war as a child and died in a war as a grown up. William is happy, but sad because he gets to be like his father. But, he thinks he is going to die. First, he has to be tested to see if he will become a patriot. You will have to read more to find out if becomes a patriot. This book is good for people who like action, but war is not worth all lives lost. If you have ever read Kristine Gregory¿s books, you will love this one. William and I have a connection because our fathers are not around much, because my father is working all day and Williams¿s dad is dead. William and I are both depressed because I feel like a part of my life is missing and his dad never around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2003

    Fighting for Freedom: The Story of a Young Patriot

    It is 1774 and Boston is becoming over-run by the powerful British Soldiers. Everyday life is disrupted as teh once peaceful Massachusetts Bay Colony is filled with disagreement and hatred, secrets and lies. Amidst al the violence, a brave 12 year old orplan named Will, is determined to do anything he can to help the rebel cause. Will's entire family is killed in an accident, runs away from his foster home to Boston, where he is able to find shelter and work at a small tavern/inn. It is here that Will learns the way to help the Patriots. Not long after Will moves to Boston, he discovers that his new home is also a meeting place for Americans plotting against the British. Eager to gain the title of a "true patriot", Will excitedly begins accepting spy work from the group. The dangers of this work follow Will as he sneaks through dark streets and peers through the windows at traitorous activity. As he continues his work, Will begins to feel that it is less and less possible that freedom from Britain will come any other way than through war. A spirited main character and an interesting point of view made this book exciting and fun to read. I have read other books in the Dear America/My Name is America series and did not enjoy most of them as much as I did this one. The author really gives the reader a sense of what it was like to be in Boston during that time in history. I thought that this book was incredibly interesting and breathed humor and feeling into the cold time sof the Revolutionary War.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    Journal of William Thomas Emerson, a Revolutionary War Patriot (Dear America Series)

    The main character's name is Will. Will is an orphan because his parents were killed in a horrible lightning storm. Will then had foster parents but ran away from them because they were mean to him. Will met a man named Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson asked Will if he wanted to live in Boston with him. Will said yes, and moved into a tavern. After a couple of weeks, Will became a spy for Mr. Wilson. The British soldiers were running Boston. Their ships were also in the Boston Harbor. The plots of this journal are that Will is trying to spy on a man named Mr. Palmer. Mr. Wilson is suspicious of Mr. Palmer. One time when Will was trying to spy on Mr. Palmer, a British commander, Will had an encounter with a British soldier. Will then ran into the woods, sliced his face open and spit into it. Then he said, "That's for Henry." My opinion of this book is that I thought it was the kind of book I like. It kept me guessing and it also might keep you guessing to. I would recommend this book to 6th graders and up. I think this mostly because only people in the 6th grade might understand it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2003

    Journal of William Thomas Emerson, a Revolutionary War Patriot (Dear America Series)

    Will used to have a mother, fater and a sisterm but lightning struck their house and Will was the lone survivor. He was put into a foster home and soon adopted, but his foster parents beat him and he ran away. The author really captures the spirit of this amazing young boy as he is found by a kind Mr. WIlson, who takes him to Boston, Massachusetts, 1774. Once in Boston, Will is taken to a tavern owned by the almost too kind Mrs. Thompson, where he is put up. In town he meets Henry Moody, a smart lad a few years older than Will, who works for Mr. Armstrong, the book keeper. Tensions are high as Britain is struggling to keep its rebellious country at bay. Will meets many friendly people, and some that are not-so-friendly, but nevertheless becomes an important figure in his society. A tragedy occurs near to Will. What is this tragedy? What will he do? To find out, read the book! I would say that this book is good for grades four and up. It is able to contain several interesting history facts, while still being interesting and keeping the readers attention. I like this book becuase it had funny parts, sad parts, and even a few scary parts. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn or teach and still have fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2003

    Great Book to accompany any Revolutionary War Unit

    I am currently reading this book to both of my Language Arts classes. The students really seem to enjoy the book for the most part and find it easy to connect events and ideas from our social studies unit on the Revolutionary War.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2000

    great

    An excellent story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    THE BEST BOOK!!!!!!

    this book is sooooo good i think that everyone should read it and u will never froget it,i have never read a Dear America book this was my first and i loved it and learned so much from it thx

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