I know Independence Day is over, but that doesn’t mean I stop reading about why we celebrate it. Just as I like to stretch the Christmas season out, by reading Christmas books after the holiday is over, into January and even February, I like to stretch the summer patriotic holiday out too, by reading related books into July and August.
Usually I read one long chapter book for adults related to the American War of Independence starting the end of May. I don’t remember all of them, but I do remember reading 1776 and a book about Betsy Ross this way.
I didn’t get this post up before July 4th, so I’m getting it up now, so I’m ahead of the game for next year, LOL!
We are reading the above book about Washington’s spy network. It’s so interesting how Washington was a master of deception. So much for honest George who could not tell a lie. He used deception to his advantage in tricking British spies. So fascinating! This leads to discussing honesty, does it always apply, even in war?
The batch of books pictured below are for children.
As delightful as the Disney Johnny Tremain movie is, the book is better. We listened to this on our trip to and from Nauvoo 6 years ago. It just goes deeper into the plot and characterization than any movie can, as usual.
This is what goodreads.com says about the above book:
“As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom. From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.”
We started listening to it on scribd.com two years ago, so I’m hoping to finally finish it this summer with the kiddos.
The sequel to the above book. Again here’s what goodreads.com says, “The young soldiers at Valley Forge are suffering from hunger, cold, and the threat of the British army. Their newly forged bonds of friendship might be enough to help them survive. But the chains of Curzon’s past threaten to shackle him again.
“Surrounded by the fires of ignorance, mistrust, and greed, Curzon can’t risk sharing his deadly secrets with anyone. Does he have the mettle to hold on to his freedom? To claim his rightful place as an American? Is he strong enough to find the answer to the hardest question of all: Is Isabel still alive?
“Acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson continues the thrilling adventure started in her bestselling, award-winning novel Chains. Ride along on a gallop that will take you from battling the British at Saratoga to fighting the elements at Valley Forge to rebelling against merciless tyranny. Discover what the fight for freedom is really about.”
One of my friends says this about it, “Absolutely love this series and I’m dying for book 3! October can’t come soon enough.”
So after this one came out, the same friend I quoted above wrote this, “Another great one by Laurie Halse Anderson! I read it within a few days of it arriving at the library.”
This one is another historical fiction novel. It presents a fictional female character who uncovers Benedict Arnold’s plot to turn West Point over to the British. Sounds interesting! It’s by Avi so should be good.
The one above is a cross between a picture book and a chapter book. Too long to read in one sitting, with more than one story, but it has lots of pictures.
I’ve absolutely loved Nathan Hale’s graphic novels. Even though they have lots of pictures, I count them as chapter books, because they do have LOTS of chapters so are longer than picture books. You can read more of why I love them here. The one above is a new edition of his #1 in the series, One Dead Spy, the bigger, badder, edition. This is what goodreads.com says about it, “This special edition of One Dead Spy features a larger trim size, a deluxe package, and 16 pages of bonus material, including research photos, sketches, and mini-comics from the author.” Oooh, I can’t wait to devour it!
The elementary school I attended for third grade was named after this man from France, the Marquis de Lafayette. So I have a soft spot in my heart for him. I firmly believe that God had a hand in orchestrating Lafayette to meet Washington, and become great allies, so Lafayette could help train the soldiers to win the War of Independence. When I toured the Yorktown Visitor’s Center I was delighted to see Lafayette’s cannon used in that battle, well preserved and on display.
I don’t love the pervasive “hey dude, this is what is so cool”. i.e. “let’s talk about all the violence” tone and vocabulary of the above book written to tweenish/teenish boys, as it gets annoyingly tiresome, but I have to say, this is the best chapter book for children that tells the entire story of the American War for Independence. I also looooove the illustrations. If you want a shorter, simpler, chapter book about the War, then I recommend the Magic Tree House book below.
I’ve tried reading the book below aloud to my children, but have never gotten through it. It’s looong! I might take another stab at it in the fall. It’s probably not really meant as a read aloud, more for a mom to read and then retell the more compelling stories in her own words to her children. It really is great to get a view of world history events going on the same time all over the globe, during George’s whole life, including the American War for Independence. I love Genevieve Foster’s illustrations! When I grow up I want to draw like she does. My whole homeschooling life I have had a dream of making a timeline or Charlotte Mason Book of Centuries with my progeny copying her pictures from all her books. Alas, my dreams are bigger than my energy, and I have never attempted it.
The next books are for ages 13 and up. I read the one below when I was 18 or 19. It’s time to read it again, I’m sure I would appreciate it a lot more.
The next one has a page a day for the whole year to use in your family devotionals
If you want a restored gospel of Jesus Christ perspective on the founding of the American nation, the book above by Timothy Ballard is for you.
“We know that George Washington was a moral man and an inspiring leader, but did he possibly know more than we suppose? Was he a national covenant maker like Moses, Abraham, Lehi, or Captain Moroni? Did he understand that he was fighting for the liberty of a promised land protected by God, a place where the Lord’s holy temples could be built?
“The Washington Hypothesis explores the intriguing evidence that Washington and the other Founding Fathers knew the Lord had a greater purpose for America. It takes us on a fascinating historical journey through the miracles of the Revolutionary War to the foundational documents of this great nation to the symbolism evident in every corner of the nation’s capital. Exploring how Washington’s beliefs framed his every action, author Timothy Ballard draws compelling conclusions about the divinity of that great leader’s calling. As we see the evidence of the Lord’s hand in Washington’s life, we may discover a much grander design at work in the founding of our nation.”
Ballard also has related books, below:
Other Judeo-Christian perspectives that resonate with Ballard’s books are below:
These next books are not about the founding, but I count them as patriotic chapter books because they give a perspective of the veering of the US government (USG) from the patriots’ founding of America. They show that the USG changed from being mostly run by leaders who believed in what the patriots did, which is limited government, to being mostly run by leaders who believe in ever expanding the US government’s role. He doesn’t say this, but I’ve decided that included Abraham Lincoln. I wish Maybury would write a book about Lincoln. I believe that Lincoln started out wanting to expand the role of the USG, by having the gvt. sponsor the building of a lot of infrastructure, and supporting the tariff. Towards the end of the war, perhaps he did read the Book of Mormon. Ballard points out in his book, The Lincoln Hypothesis, that the Library of Congress has record he did check that book out. But did he actually read it? We don’t know, we have no evidence so far that he read it. But maybe that led him to a change of heart about his role as president and the role of the USG. I believe as he changed his ways, that’s what got him assassinated.
This book above and its sequel about WW2 are essential to anyone who wants to understand U.S. and world history. Maybury points out many amazing insights, namely that the United States Government ceased being guided by the principles of the Founding Fathers (such as local self-government) and became oppressive like the mother country of Britain. This happened, according to the author, when it conquered the Phillippines and Cuba at the end of the Spanish American War. Over 200,000 Filipinos where killed by the USG. What a tragedy!
Ever since that war the USG has been forcing itself on other countries in this domino effect that started with the Spanish American War and has us embroiled in policing the world. This eye-opening book gives ten deadly errors why countries go to war, one of which is the longing for Pax Romana, or Roman Peace. It seems like peace to the head of the empire but it is actually a reign of terror and rebellion, because it is based on rule of men, not law. Europe’s heritage is a longing for this Pax Romana. Maybury quotes Jefferson as saying that America should stay out of Europe’s business, for it is made of countries who are focused on eternal war. America has a different heritage, that of having a government based on a higher law, not man’s law, like the countries of Europe. (At least that is our heritage which the USG has departed from. Maybury doesn’t go into that in this book but he does in his other book Whatever Happened to Justice?)
Here’s what Maybury’s website says about the above book:
“Don’t miss this book, it is selling all over the world. It makes people think like nothing has in years.This book shows what is wrong with our legal system and how to fix it. The Legal Model is explained. Explores America’s legal heritage. Discusses the difference between higher law and man-made law, and the connection between law and economic prosperity. Introduces the Two Laws: (1) Do all you have agreed to do. (2) Do not encroach on other persons or their property.The book also sheds light on the cause of the turmoil in East Europe, Russia and Asia. You will be amazed at how much you understand after reading Whatever Happened to Justice.”
Again from Maybury’s site, about this book relating to Thomas Jefferson’s perspective:
“This book offers many insights, it teaches principles of economics and government in bite-sized nuggets, and gives you indicators for spotting the hidden biases of news reporters, writers, movies and television. For educators, parents, librarians and anyone else responsible for making reading selections for children—including students themselves — Mr Maybury uses ‘indicators’ and ‘misleading terms’ to help individuals identify the philosophical slant of most writers of law, history, economics and literature.”
Want more ideas?