An interesting introduction to Revolutionary War times and the strategy behind some of the battles
Fighting For Freedom And General Washington
by Michael Justin Lee
Capital Stewardship Publishing
Pb, 146 pp. ISBN 9781500249694. 2014. $8.00.
Author, playwright and teacher at the University of Maryland, Michael Justin Lee has taken America’s Revolutionary War and added a twist for Young Adult readers (can be for adults, too.) He has fraternal twins, Alexander and Amanda, and given them a fiery spirit and placed them where soldiers are needed to fight the British and win independence for the Colonies. Taking major battles of the time, he has either Alexander or Amanda being there to give the reader a taste of what it would have been like. The book is more of a novella, being less that 150 pages long, and takes the reader into battle scenes and meeting famous people of that time. We read about George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Benedict Arnold, Alexander Hamilton, John Paul Jones, Francis Marion (“The Swamp Fox“), Casimir Pulaski and Wilhelm von Steuben. Over two hundred years later, and the names are still fresh in history. The cover art, which resembles a graphic novel, is done by Dwayne Biddix from Comic-Con.
The book begins when Alexander and Amanda are 13 and Alexander wants to be a soldier, so he lies about his age and joins a rifle company from Virginia to help General Washington. In the meantime, Amanda, quite the tomboy, decides to follow her brother, so she talks her aunt into letting her dress as a boy and join the Patriots of South Carolina. She ends up as Private Bruce Lee (quite a pseudonym). From there on in the book, chapters are divided between brother and sister as to what battle they are in and what military leader they are working with. Each turns out to be quite a fighter and Amanda learns about Cherokee fighting. Alexander, because of his height, is the rifleman, and Amanda, because of her quickness, is the swordsman (sword-person.)
I found this book to be an interesting introduction to Revolutionary War times and the strategy behind some of the battles, especially when there are rivers involved. There is a religious aspect here with people praying and giving thanks to God. Danger was always present in those times, either from incompetence or the unexpected. The plot flows nicely and is a page turner as to whether the Colonies will remain Colonies under British rule or become independent. Many volunteers came to the aid of the Colonists here and not always from the local areas. Author Michael Justin Lee has promised a sequel in “Forward to Our Greatest Victory.”
Copyright Marie Asner 2014
For more Young Adult book reviews, see the following:
The Warden And The Wolf King