A Young Patriot: The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy
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A Young Patriot: The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy

by Jim Murphy
     
 

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In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself "as warm a patriot as the best of them." He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown.…  See more details below

Overview


In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself "as warm a patriot as the best of them." He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown, considered even more severe. He wrote of his war years in a memoir that brings the American Revolution alive with telling details, drama, and a country boy's humor. Jim Murphy lets Joseph Plumb Martin speak for himself throughout the text, weaving in historical backfround details wherever necessary, giving voice to a teenager who was an eyewitness to the fight that set America free from the British Empire.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A brief history based on the privately printed memoirs of Joseph Plumb Martin, who, at the age of 15, signed up for the Connecticut state militia on July 6, 1776, and stayed with the army for the next seven years. This work offers a view of the Revolutionary War missing from most books-instead of the broad sweep of dramatic events and change, readers see the daily misery, boredom, confusion, terror, and only occasional triumph of army life. Murphy provides the best of both, the drama and the grind, appeasing readers’ fascination with war without romanticizing."

Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

"Murphy presents the life of Joseph Plumb Martin, a 15-year-old Connecticut farm boy, who enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776. . . . The book is generously illustrated with black-and-white maps and reproductions; captions present information that complements rather than repeats the text. . . . An outstanding example of history brought to life through the experience of one individual." School Library Journal, Starred

"Young readers researching the military and social history of the American Revolution will find this an excellent resource." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Joseph Plumb Martin was only 15 in 1776 when he joined the revolutionary army in Milford Massachusetts. He spent the rest of his teen and young adult years marching, working, fighting, foraging and sometimes almost freezing and starving with his fellow patriots until the war ended in 1783. As an older man, he wrote and published his account of his wartime experiences. The author skillfully weaves Martin's own words with his explanatory text to create this fascinating and factual history of the American Revolution as experienced by one boy. We read a first hand account of such famous people and events as Washington and Lafayette and the winter at Valley Forge and the surrender at Yorktown; but also learn lesser known facts such as the serious lack of food and clothing that the soldiers had to endure. Includes index, bibliography, chronology of the war and many old black and white prints.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
At 15 Joseph Plum Martin enlisted in the Revolutionary Army, 1776. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown and describes the horrible conditions that the soldiers endured. At 70, Martin wrote this memoir of his war years. Murphy weaves historical details in with Martin's own words to make an absorbing record of this historic period. Painting and engravings of the period enrich our understanding of a time when survival depended on devotion to ideals, stamina, guts, and a lot of luck.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 UpMurphy presents the life of Joseph Plumb Martin, a 15-year-old Connecticut farm boy who enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776. Through well-selected quotes from Martin's self-published memoir, A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier, readers experience the young soldier's excitement and fear during battle, his boredom while marching, and the deprivation of a winter encampment. The author's compelling writing intertwines major events of the American Revolution with Martin's own story, rendering historical events and military strategy readily comprehensible. The book is generously illustrated with black-and-white maps and reproductions; captions present information that complements rather than repeats the text. Unfortunately, there is neither a map of the colonies from the Hudson to Yorktown, nor a glossary of military terms. Important figures such as Burgoyne, Cornwallis, and Washington are portrayed as individuals as well as military leaders. The index is comprehensive. This volume compares favorably to Doris and Harold Faber's The Birth of a Nation (Scribners, 1989) and is certainly more accessible than Yankee Doodle Boy (Holiday, 1995), an abridged version of Martin's memoir edited by George F. Scheer. An outstanding example of history brought to life through the experience of one individual.Lisa Von Drasek, Brooklyn Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A brief history based on the privately printed memoirs of Joseph Plumb Martin, who, at the age of 15, signed up for the Connecticut state militia on July 6, 1776, and stayed with the army for the next seven years. Murphy (The Great Fire, 1995, etc. ) maintains Martin's perspective through many of the major battles and events of the war, filling in background history, larger strategy, and information about the British enemy when relevant. This work offers a view of the Revolutionary War missing from most books—instead of the broad sweep of dramatic events and change, readers see the daily misery, boredom, confusion, terror, and only occasional triumph of army life. Murphy provides the best of both, the drama and the grind, appeasing readers' fascination with war without romanticizing it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395900192
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/28/1998
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
465,668
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
1140L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A brief history based on the privately printed memoirs of Joseph Plumb Martin, who, at the age of 15, signed up for the Connecticut state militia on July 6, 1776, and stayed with the army for the next seven years. This work offers a view of the Revolutionary War missing from most books-instead of the broad sweep of dramatic events and change, readers see the daily misery, boredom, confusion, terror, and only occasional triumph of army life. Murphy provides the best of both, the drama and the grind, appeasing readers’ fascination with war without romanticizing."

Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

"Murphy presents the life of Joseph Plumb Martin, a 15-year-old Connecticut farm boy, who enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776. . . . The book is generously illustrated with black-and-white maps and reproductions; captions present information that complements rather than repeats the text. . . . An outstanding example of history brought to life through the experience of one individual." School Library Journal, Starred

"Young readers researching the military and social history of the American Revolution will find this an excellent resource." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

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Meet the Author


Jim Murphy's nonfiction books have received numerous awards, among them the Sibert Medal, three Orbis Pictus awards, the Margaret A. Edwards award, and two Newbery Honors. Jim also was a finalist for the National Book Award. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim lives in Maplewood, NJ, with his family.

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