The Year Of The Hangman (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Year Of The Hangman (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

3.8 18
by Gary Blackwood

View All Available Formats & Editions

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. After he is kidnapped from England and brought to the American colonies, 15-year-old Creighton must decide whether to join his new friends, the patriots, or stay true to his English heritage.See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now


FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. After he is kidnapped from England and brought to the American colonies, 15-year-old Creighton must decide whether to join his new friends, the patriots, or stay true to his English heritage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In this adventurous, if somewhat unrealistic, novel, Blackwood (The Shakespeare Stealer) imagines what would have happened if the Americans lost the Revolutionary War. In 1777 (called the Year of the Hangman "because the three sevens in the date resembled the miniature gallows" and because of all the British traitors hanged), spoiled 15-year-old Creighton is taken from London by force, and sent to the Colonies to live with his uncle. But when Creighton accompanies his uncle, an unkind Englishman named Colonel Gower, to a new post in West Florida, their boat is seized by patriot privateers, led by the infamous Benedict Arnold. They bring the prisoners to the Spanish territory of New Orleans and imprison Gower, but take Creighton to live with Benjamin Franklin. Creighton agrees to spy for Gower, discovering that Franklin publishes a revolutionary paper, but his conscience begins to bother him. Not only are Franklin and his friends kind to Creighton but the lines between what is "good or bad, right or wrong" blur. A few characters seem stilted, such as Sophie, a hot-headed, French-speaking maid, and Peter, a warmhearted giant. But history buffs will recognize some clever dialogue ("It's a far more difficult thing to make up your own mind about what's right and act accordingly," Arnold tells Creighton) and the hero struggles with compelling questions, such as the meaning of honor and the value of war. Jail escapes, duels, code-breaking and more keep the story moving. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)
We can only hope that YA readers catch on immediately that this is an alternate history�the British didn't win the Revolutionary War, Washington wasn't imprisoned, Franklin didn't seek refuge in New Orleans. Blackwood tells the story from the viewpoint of a spoiled young Englishman named Creighton, whose mother arranges to send him to the Colonies to the care of an uncle. It's directly after the British have won the war decisively in this alternate history; uchronia is the name of this genre, Blackwood explains. Patriots have found shelter in New Orleans, a city not under the control of the British, and Creighton somehow gets into the household of the printer, Ben Franklin, where his uncle wants him to spy for the British cause. In the course of the novel, Creighton's loyalties shift and he understands why the Americans want to rid themselves of British rule. He actually develops a conscience. There is a lot of action. And although Creighton is a kind of anti-hero at first, he does become much more sympathetic as the story proceeds. He had never worked before in his life as a young gentleman, and slowly he finds he enjoys the satisfaction of helping Franklin in the printing business, actually producing a finished product to be proud of. There are battles, skirmishes, escapes, a duel�everything that might please a YA reader interested in that period of history. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: JS�Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2002, Penguin, Putnam, Dutton, 291p.,
— Claire Rosser; KLIATT
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-The author of The Shakespeare Stealer (Puffin, 2000) guides readers through a might-have-been America in this suspenseful alternative history set during the Revolutionary War. In Blackwood's imagined 1777, the upstart colonists have been routed by superior British forces. George Washington awaits execution and the rebel leaders who have escaped capture are in hiding or have fled. Dashing Benedict Arnold has become a privateer operating out of French-controlled New Orleans, where Benjamin Franklin runs a printing shop and distributes an illegal newspaper, The Liberty Tree. Enter 17-year-old Creighton Brown, an upper-class English wastrel who arrives in Louisiana as Arnold's captive, after an earlier abduction from London that had been arranged by his mother. Lodged with Franklin, Creighton becomes a reluctant publishing assistant, and, as he begins to admire the Americans and their principles, an even more reluctant British spy. Creighton's lazy, spoiled ways undergo a revolution of their own when he is caught between dangerous plots and counterplots and is forced to take risks that threaten more than one life. Packed with action, convincing historical speculation, and compelling portrayals of real-life and fictional characters, this page-turner will appeal to fans of both history and fantasy.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A wastrel-in-training finds cause, and a Cause, to mend his ways in this alternate history from the author of Shakespeare�s Scribe (2000). The American revolt has collapsed with the capture of George Washington, but there�s still unrest in the colonies. Creighton Brown, spoiled son of a British officer supposedly killed in the war, has been involuntarily dispatched there in hopes that his ruthless uncle, Hugh Gower, colonel in charge of the Charles Town garrison, can shape him up. Captured by pirates led by dashing hothead Benedict Arnold, Creighton meets Ben Franklin and other exiles living in Spanish-held New Orleans, and finds himself playing both sides, forced to spy for Gower while becoming embroiled in a rebel plan to find and free Washington. Losing his arrogance and preconceptions with realistic reluctance, Creighton survives several narrow scrapes on the way to rescuing his father, who turns out to have actually been imprisoned for warning settlers of an impending massacre. As well, he ends up taking to heart Franklin�s observation that there is no such thing as a good war, or a bad peace. Disappointingly, Washington never does turn up, but readers will be swept along by this what if? adventure, and will find Franklin�s philosophy as applicable today as ever. (afterword) (Fiction. 11-13)

Read More

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >