A book set during the American War for Independence.
Sam Woodbury can’t help but be a little jealous. Here he is, a printer’s apprentice stuck printing fliers and notices while Tim Monroe dashes around the country as an express rider for the Continental Congress! What more could one wish than to serve his country in such a bold, gallant way?
Sam is soon to learn that boldness and gallantry aren’t the only way to serve his country. The first lesson comes when Dr. Franklin sends Sam’s master, Mr. Leeds, a copy of the Declaration of Independence with the request that he print hundreds more. What Dr Franklin doesn’t know is that Mr. Leeds is sick a bed and that although Sam has never operated the printer by himself, he refuses to disappoint the Congress – so he stays up all night doing the work himself! Later comes smuggling a Patriot soldier out of British-controlled Philadelphia, and then there’s the important mission of delivering gold to General Washington…
I love this kind of story. It’s exciting, but not ridiculous; stuffed with historical occurrences, while still focusing on plot; cheerful without being goofy; relationally positive, but not stiff; and principled without being preachy.
Sam is a fun, adventure loving boy who comes to learn the importance of quiet service, while also managing to fight in the battle of Trenton and be involved in several hair-raising schemes. He is flanked first by the Leed family who, though sometimes harsh with him, is also just to him, and secondly by the Clay family who practically adopts him as their own. (He is an orphan.) Sam manages to meet not only Martha Washington, but also the General himself after his last danger-fraught-but-totally-hilarious escapade!
Conclusion. Totally recommended – will give your children a sense of colonial life.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret