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The Fair American

The Fair American

by Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth, Helen Sewell (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
History can be one of the most difficult things for children to learn. It does not impact their daily lives, and it is filled with facts and figures of people long dead and events that occurred long before they were born. Showing children a more personal side of history and relaying events from a child's point of view can help to make history come alive for them. Coatsworth does this admirably by telling the story of one young aristocratic boy fleeing the French Revolution. Pierre escapes the villagers that attack his father's manor just in time and flees to a costal town where he is able, with the help of a faithful servant, to sign on as a cabin boy on an American ship ready to set sail. From there, the story shifts perspective and relates experiences from the viewpoint of Sally, a young girl sailing with her family. The abrupt shift is somewhat discordant, but after a few paragraphs it is easy to fall into the flow of the story again. The story does shift point of view a few more times and ends abruptly before Pierre reaches his destination in Boston when Sally leaves the ship. Despite the somewhat confusing changes in perspectives, the story recounts a bit of the terror experienced during the French Revolution and the freedom that could be found in the United States at the turn of the 19th century. 2005 (orig. 1940), Macmillan Company/Bethlehem Books, Ages 9 to 12.
—Danielle Williams

Product Details

Bethlehem Books
Publication date:
Sally (Bethlehem Books) Series
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.52(d)
Age Range:
8 Years

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