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Children's LiteratureAn introduction describing some of the causes of the Revolutionary War and a timeline beginning with the Boston Tea Party and ending with Cornwallis's surrender set the stage for the details about Valley Forge that follow. Each spread discusses one time period (ranging from one to three months) between September 1777 and June 1778. Quotations from the diaries of various soldiers give authenticity to the text. Some pages have inserts with additional information about people that are mentioned. "Washington's Rules of Civility" are especially interesting. The full-color paintings which appear along side each page of text provide vivid, detailed illustrations of the soldiers and the hardships they endured. A man standing guard in the snow with rags wrapped around his feet, a strip of cloth holding his hat on, and a frayed blanket pulled around his body leaves a lasting impression of the conditions experienced at Valley Forge. A bibliography and notes appear at the end of the book to aid young researchers. 2004, Holiday House, Ages 9 to 14.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.