Fifteen-year-old Paul Jennings looked out the window of the President's House. America was at war with Britain, and British soldiers were marching toward Washington. Terrified people were fleeing the city. But Paul was not going to join them yet. He was a slave who belonged to President Madison and his wife, Dolley. Dolley did not want to leave until her husband returned from the battlefront. Paul stayed by her side, helping her pack up official papers and belongings. Finally, they could wait no longer. But there was one more treasure they had to save. Were they too late?
About the Author
Marty Rhodes Figley is the author of sixteen books, mostly about her favorite subjectremarkable people from our country's past. She earned her B.A. in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College. Marty, whose two children are grown, lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Paul, and their Airedale terrier, Scarlett.
Craig Orback is a freelance children's book illustrator living in the Northwest and received his B.F.A. in illustration from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle in 1998. He has illustrated Nature's Paintbox, The Can Man, Keeping The Promise: A Torah's Journey, and other award-winning children's books. He teaches children's book illustration and oil painting at several local colleges. In his free time he enjoys painting landscapes and sharing his books with kids during school and library visits.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a very well-written, beautifully illustrated book about the burning of Washington by the British during the War of 1812. It is told from the perspective of Paul Jennings, President Madison's personal valet and slave. The book's particular value is in showing how young Paul had real decisions to make, even though he was a slave. The book ends with the return of Presdient Madison to Washington and the beginning efforts to rebuild the city. It would be good for a class to read this book in conjunction with one about the American victory at Fort McHenry in Baltimore and the Stars Spangled Banner. The writer's notes at the end of the book reveal that as an adult Paul Jennings was a very accomplished person who wrote the first White House memoire and was a conspirator in the mass slave escape on the Pearl (the largest slave escape in Washington's history). It mentions that Paul was sold by Dolly Madison, and then bought his own freedom. The writer's note does not mention that Dolly sold Paul to Daniel Webster, the famous New England congressman and orator.