Children's LiteratureIn 1830, at the age of seventy, Joseph Plumb Martin published a journal of his experiences during the Revolutionary War. This book, entitled A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary War Soldier remains one of the most telling accounts of that conflict. Martin enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776 at the tender age of fifteen. After serving his enlistment term of six months, Martin elected to muster in again for the duration of the war. For the next seven years he remained in the service of his country and experienced all the privation, suffering, and horror of the Revolutionary War. As a private, and eventually a sergeant in the Sappers, Martin had first hand experience with all aspects of warfare. He slept out "with only the sky's canopy for a tent," suffered through wretched winter quarters, and saw "the bones of Hessians scattered across the field." Despite all that he endured, Martin maintained a lighthearted and adventurous tone in his journal. In this abridged edition of Joseph Martin's journal, younger readers can come to understand the depth of patriotism displayed by an everyday Continental soldier and witness Martin's amazing escapes from captivity, his battlefield experiences, the boredom and fatigue of camp life, and the bone-weariness that soldiers endured. Modern day illustrations accent the primary source text to provide a vivid portrayal of a Revolutionary War American soldier. This wonderfully edited historical work is a must-read for any student of history interested in the Colonial epoch or military history in general. 2001, Benchmark Books. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library JournalGr 5-9-During the 19th century, people enjoyed reading published diaries of travelers, adventurers, gunfighters, and others. These first-person accounts provided fascinating information about historical events, semi-exotic places, and day-to-day living conditions. The Roops have taken three of these accounts and edited them for a new generation of readers. Each title contains the most interesting and informative segments from the original piece. Highlighted, unfamiliar words are defined in the margins, and sidebars and boxed sections contain additional background material on people, places, and events. All include color illustrations and maps. These are uniformly good titles, especially appealing in their immediacy. Leeper's diary is filled with details about the hardships of getting to California and the disappointment of not finding a fortune once there; Martin's diary describes the years he was enlisted as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Young Jemison recounts events from her life before and after she was captured and adopted by members of the Seneca tribe. The Roops have "here and there-revised a sentence in order to make its meaning clear to the modern reader" and the resulting texts are polished, readable, and reliable.-Dona J. Helmer, College Gate School Library, Anchorage, AK Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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