Gr 6-8 When 14-year-old Nate's family farm is burned by British troops, he seeks revenge by joining the Continental Army, accompanied by his dog, Rex. Traveling to join the troops, he meets James, a slave in his early 30s who has been temporarily released in order to join the revolutionaries. The two are welcomed and assigned by Lafayette to work as spies. James Armistead Lafayette, the slave in the novel, was a real person who gathered information while acting as British General Cornwallis's servant, and passed it to Lafayette. Most other details about his life are unknown. The novel includes a great deal of military action and expected violence. Nate pursues the British dragoon who did the most damage to his family throughout the book, intent on killing him. Many occurrences strain credibility. Rex has extraordinary tracking abilities, as well as strength, loyalty, and intelligence. Both Nate and James become extremely close to Lafayette in a short amount of time. James speaks in awkwardly written dialect, while Lafayette speaks English with French words frequently interspersed. The book effectively delivers military action, intrigue, and adventure, but does not provide a believable story or compelling characters.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
- Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 11 - 13 Years
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Great description of Yorktown during the end of the Revolutionary War. Identifies problems and dimmas in the past. A lesson in consequences and decisions. In the back of the book it lists Revolutionary War Time Line, Historical Figures in the Novel, and a French Glossary of Words and Phrases used in the Novel. In the front of the book is a map showing the York and James Rivers, plus the Chesapeake Bay and the nearby towns to Yorktown.
This book is engaging and informative. My kids really got into the story.