Thursday, March 7, 2013

Henry and the Cannons

Henry and the Cannons:  An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution
by Don Brown
Roaring Book Press, 2013.  Unpaged.  Nonfiction

     Henry Knox has gotten a lot of good children's press lately.  Nathan Hale's wildly popular graphic novel/history One Dead Spy features Henry Knox, as does (obviously) Anita Silvey's recent Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot. Don Brown adds a wonderful and wonderfully well illustrated item to the Knox canon (get it?) with this book, focusing on Henry Knox's bringing fifty-nine cannons captured at the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York to Boston so George Washington and his army could root the British out of the city.  The trip would have felled lesser men than Henry and his volunteers.  Winter storms on land and water slowed the men down and made them miserable.  Cannons on sledges broke through the ice and had to be pulled out of the frigid water.  After fifty days of hard travel Henry Knox, bookseller, and his men arrived on the hills above Boston allowing George Washington to drive away the British and retake the city.  Don Brown is one of our greatest historians for young people. His pictures render times and places exquisitely  and his texts are straightforward without being condescending. Four stars for this one, and for everything else he has ever done.

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