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Washington at Valley Forge

Overview

Newbery Award-winning author Russell Freedman offers up this powerful account of the survival of American soldiers while camped at Valley Forge during a crucial period in the American Revolution. George Washington's army almost perished during the winter of 1777-78. Camped at Valley Forge, about 20 miles from Philadelphia, the revolutionaries endured severe hardship because the army's supply system had collapsed. They were without food, clothing, and blankets. The army was at its most vulnerable; but when the ...
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Overview

Newbery Award-winning author Russell Freedman offers up this powerful account of the survival of American soldiers while camped at Valley Forge during a crucial period in the American Revolution. George Washington's army almost perished during the winter of 1777-78. Camped at Valley Forge, about 20 miles from Philadelphia, the revolutionaries endured severe hardship because the army's supply system had collapsed. They were without food, clothing, and blankets. The army was at its most vulnerable; but when the harsh winter drew to a close, the soldiers had survived, and marched away from Valley Forge more determined than ever. The British were defeated in 1783, and Washington, for the rest of his life, said that the credit for the American victory belonged to the soldiers who had braved the horrific conditions at Valley Forge.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
What better way to celebrate the birth of our First President than with this vivid history of one of his most grueling times? Come February 22, kids can curl up in cozy chairs and immerse themselves in the grim winter of 1778 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Without adequate food, clothing and shelter, the American soldiers suffered terribly but continued to train. And when the ragtag troops met the British in the first battle of the spring, the Americans proved victorious. From this point, award-winning author Russell Freedman briefly traces the path that lead to the British surrender at Yorktown in 1783. In these pages, Washington emerges as a stalwart and humane leader who sometimes "spread his cloak on the ground and slept among his troops." The many portraits and period illustrations portray the travails and triumphs of the Revolutionary War. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
VOYA - Lucy Schall
This well-illustrated, user-friendly narrative will draw a wide range of readers into a critical period of the Revolutionary War that tested the resolve of the Continental soldiers and the skill of their leader, the relatively inexperienced General George Washington. Battered, sick, undersupplied, poorly trained, and barely clothed soldiers enter the ghostlike surroundings of Valley Forge and emerge a fighting force under the guidance of a general who initially bought books to teach himself military tactics and strategy. Washington chooses Valley Forge because it allows his soldiers to build shelter. He welcomes advice from foreign military advisors, shields the truth about his dying army, wrestles financial support and a reliable supply system from a reluctant congress, maintains a spy organization that includes washerwomen, defends his decisions against jealous and doubtful officers, and emerges with a fighting force that defeats the British. The brief narratives and quotations from soldiers and officers, many of whom were teenagers, will resonate with young readers familiar with modern military challenges. Freedman's "Selected Bibliography" is a discussion as well as a listing of his sources, and he includes a description and full contact information about The Valley Forge National Historical Park. Well written and well documented, this source with have cross-gender appeal for more than report writers or history buffs. It pairs well with George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War (National Geographic, 2004) and The Real Revolution: The Global Story of American Independence (Clarion, 2005). Reviewer: Lucy Schall
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8

Another stunning work from the nonfiction virtuoso. In a gripping, gritty account of the months that General Washington and his troops spent camped at Valley Forge, Freedman deftly brings to life this storied, nearly mythic period of the Revolutionary War. Vivid depictions of the harsh realities, not just the difficult winter weather, but also the lack of food, supplies, and clothing, all came together to create a perfect storm of misery that led to low morale, desertions, and death. Using first-person accounts from a variety of sources, Freedman offers a stirring portrait of a man who not only demanded that Congress step up its support of the troops, but who also brought in military experts to help transform the ragtag militia into a unified, trained military force. Everything-from quotes to images-is impeccably sourced, and a thorough, annotated bibliography is appended. Interwoven throughout are sepia-toned images that range from photographs of historical sites to reproductions of period artwork, which help to immerse readers in the era. Pair this with Thomas B. Allen's George Washington, Spymaster (National Geographic, 2007) and the man behind the legend becomes more intriguing and real to budding historians. An excellent choice for every collection.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823420698
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 371,643
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell Freedman (born 1929 in San Francisco) is a biographer and author of nearly 50 books for young people. He is most notable for receiving the 1988 Newbery Medal with his work Lincoln: A Photobiography. In 1998, he received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for his lifelong contribution to children's literature. He received one of the 2007 National Humanities Medals. He currently lives in New York City.
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