The Road to Revolution!

Overview

You can’t make history without making a little trouble!

Nick is an orphan who gets by on his wits and whatever he can steal. Penny is the daughter of a tavern owner and knows the meaning of honest work. Though from completely different backgrounds—and despite their instant dislike for each other—they do have one thing in common: They both want the British out of Boston! When a chance encounter brings them together, Nick and Penny see a way to help the patriots. But first they’ll...

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Overview

You can’t make history without making a little trouble!

Nick is an orphan who gets by on his wits and whatever he can steal. Penny is the daughter of a tavern owner and knows the meaning of honest work. Though from completely different backgrounds—and despite their instant dislike for each other—they do have one thing in common: They both want the British out of Boston! When a chance encounter brings them together, Nick and Penny see a way to help the patriots. But first they’ll have to earn the trust of some of America’s great revolutionaries—including Paul Revere and Dr. Joseph Warren—and muster the courage to confront innumerable dangers.

Action packed, laced with humor, and visually dynamic for today’s readers, Road to Revolution! cleverly intertwines fact and fiction for an unprecedented view of American history.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Laura Backman
Nick and Penny are teenage fictional characters who get caught up with real people and events that are set in and around Boston in 1775-76. This is the first in a series of graphic novels titled "The Cartoon Chronicles of America." Nick is a street smart orphan boy and Penny is the determined daughter of a Boston tavern owner. Nick and Penny are right in the action building up to the start of the Revolutionary War. The Old North Church lanterns, the midnight ride, the Battle at Breed's Hill are among the many events that take place. Readers learn key information about this time in American history through this fast-paced story. Nick and Penny are accessible and believable characters. Both become spies for the Patriots and prove their bravery and cleverness again and again. Humor lightens the story at just the right moments through text and illustrations. The prologue explains the tension leading up to the conflict and the epilogue describes where artistic liberties were taken. This graphic novel is an entertaining and informative story for upper elementary classrooms and libraries. Reviewer: Laura Backman
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This first installment in the series takes place in Boston, 1775, in the days leading up to the American Revolution, where two children aid the Rebel cause. Nick helps Paul Revere alert the Rebels of the British advance, Penny foils the attack on Bunker Hill, and both of them encounter Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and George Washington. Endnotes sort the fictional events from facts, but readers unfamiliar with the history may be confused. The whimsical illustrations are drawn in shaky, cartoonish scrawls, printed in full color on glossy paper. One of the book's strengths lies in the inclusion of a strong female character, and the story often comments on the limited roles available to women at the time. The portrayal of the Tories and Rebels is not terribly nuanced, however. All of the Tories are bullish, unattractive louts, in contrast to the sensitive, handsome Rebels. This is an amusing piece of historical fiction with plenty of appeal to children, but it should be read by those with some background in history, or in conjunction with a more straightforward account.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Two fictional young Bostonians are swept up in actual events that culminate in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Speaking in modern idiom, ragamuffin Nick and Penny, a taverner's daughter, find themselves in the right places at the right times to pull pranks on arrogant Tories and lobsterbacks, overhear plans to march on Lexington and Concord, send a certain signal from the Old North Church's tower and witness or participate in several pivotal clashes. They also meet an array of Patriots, from Paul Revere and Dr. Joseph Warren to George Washington-all portrayed as ruggedly heroic figures in Mack's finely inked and colored sequential pictures-who state the case for independence in oracular snippets. Nick and Penny are too much like modern younger teens in costume to let an authentic sense of period develop, but the quickly paced plot in this opener for a projected Cartoon Chronicles of America, lightened by banter and occasional sight gags, will put visually oriented learners in the thick of the action. The comic is sandwiched between prose analyses that separate fact from fancy. (Graphic fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599900131
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/21/2009
  • Series: Cartoon Chronicles of America Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 943,502
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Stan Mack has created documentary style comic strips (including Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies, which ran in the Village Voice for 20 years), graphic histories (including The Story of the Jews: A 4,000 Year Adventure), and children's picture books. Mack graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is a former art director of The New York Times Magazine. www.stanmack.com

Susan Champlin is a freelance writer and editor who has written for PBS, PBS Kids, Discovery Communications, and National Geographic Kid, and has been on the staff of some of the biggest magazines in the country, including People and Bon Appétit.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What important events led up to the American Revolution?

    Do you remember even the most important events that took place in 1775 leading up to the beginning of the American War for Independence? If not, after reading this book, you probably will. Personally, I am not a big fan of graphic novels, but among today's youth, having been raised on television, video games, and computer images, they are extremely popular, and if they can be used for educational purposes, why not? This first book of a new series of graphic novels by authors Stan Mack and Susan Champlin that brings American history to vivid life begins with a Prologue to explain the background. As the action opens, Nick, an orphan, and Penny, the daughter of a tavern owner, both live in Boston, MA, in 1775, and both have a mutual mistrust of the British. A chance encounter brings them together, and they see a way of helping the Patriots, including Sam Adams, Paul Revere, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Penny becomes a spy for the Committee of Safety among the British in Boston, while Nick helps out during the lighting of Old North Church and Paul Revere's ride, as well as the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker (Breed's) Hill. Afterwards, they even get to meet with General George Washington. The Epilogue explains which parts of the story are fact and which are fiction. The early days of the American Revolution are filled with accounts of bravery and heroism, and this story does a good job of capturing this. Parents might want to know that Nick takes a swig of Madeira wine, but the Epilogue notes, "It was very common for everyone--including kids--to drink alcohol because the water supply in town was not safe, and even milk was potentially contaminated." Also, the exclamation "My God" is used once. My advance review copy was in black and white, but the finished book will be in full color. Also, a teacher's guide is available with discussion questions and suggestions for projects in language arts, reading, art, music, and history. The exciting suspense, humorous encounters, and visual attractiveness will make Road to Revolution! a book that many students will find useful in learning more about the Revolutionary War. The authors are already working on a story set in the Civil War.

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