by Cokie Roberts, illustrated by Diane Goode
HarperCollins, 2014. 37 pages. Nonfiction
Cokie Roberts, perhaps best known as a political commentator for ABC News and for NPR, has combined with children's illustrator Diane Goode to adapt her bestselling adult nonfiction work, Founding Mothers, for a younger audience. In this volume, Roberts tells the stories of famous female Revolutionary figures, such as Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison, but also of less well known women of that time such as Eliza Pinckney who at age sixteen took over the management of three plantations, established indigo as the premier cash crop of South Carolina, and then gave her sons to fight for the new republic. Deborah Read Franklin, Benjamin's wife, was every ounce the patriot he was, and though he was named postmaster general of the United States, she was the one who saw that the mail got through. Many other stars of our early history fill these pages. Roberts' engaging prose and Goode's quill and sepia ink illustrations are just the thing to bring a neglected part of the beginnings of the Republic to life.