"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Liberty's Children: Stories of Eleven Revolutionary War Children by Scotti Cohn



It just didn't work for me

Frances Slocum (1773-1847) late in life
Liberty's Children is a collection of stories about the experiences of eleven children during the Revolutionary War (although one is 20 years old, which was definitely not a child in a time when many were married with children at age 16).

The book is well-researched and accurate. I have no complaints with that or the ample bibliography that is sorted by the individual children. But, I just felt like I had to slog through parts of it and I love to read history.

I questioned some of the choices as well. Five of the eleven went off to sea, one of them was 20 years old and one was just a baby. I found myself wondering about the decision not to include the most famous child that served in the Revolutionary War, Andrew Jackson. He served as a courier and had his face slashed by a British soldier for refusing to clean his boots. Or, how about John Quincy Adams, who accompanied his father to Europe during the war to secure supplies and allies and eventually travelled all of the way to Russia. At least Sybil Luddington, the 16 year-old female "Paul Revere" for Connecticut who is featured on Connecticut's quarter coin could have been included rather than another story about a boy gone off to sea.

Not that all of the stories were a chore to read, mind you. I enjoyed the stories of Frances Slocum, James Forten and Sally Wister in particular. If you have read this book and want to know more about Frances Slocum I enthusiastically recommend the novel The Red Heart by James Alexander Thom.

I rate this collection 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Liberty's Children.

Reviewed on August 23, 2008.

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