Friday, May 4, 2007

Give Me Liberty by L.M. Elliott

I recommend this book for: well, nobody, really - it's a 4th to 5th grade reading level.

This is another summer reading book for my system, and I was not a fan. I was intrigued by Nathaniel, the main character in the beginning - a young indentured servant in colonial Williamsburg, just as things are starting to heat up. However, the book is disappointingly didactic - many characters spend time quoting patriots directly, and there are contrived situations (such as Nathaniel finding Thomas Jefferson's runaway horse) that exist just to bring the boy in contact with famous historical figures. Ben, an apprentice in the same shop where Nathaniel works, only speaks original dialogue about half of the time - the rest of the time, he's quoting from Jefferson or Patrick Henry.

The book illustrates the division between the loyalists and the patriots very well, and it does include interesting tidbits (such as how Jefferson won his wife's heart by playing the violin) and a nice look at the life of an indentured servant, but I think the presentation falls short of being fantastic. I've struggled to get 3/4 of the way through, and I doubt I''ll finish.

Disagree? So do the legitimate reviews.

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