As part of the Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge 2012 (Twitter: #nfpb2012), my goal is to read and review as many of the new non-fiction picture books that are released this year. Wednesdays will be my primary day to post the reviews.
Here is a review of an upcoming release:
Author: Russell Freedman
Illustrator: Peter Malone
Publisher: Holiday House (August 1, 2012)
Audience: Grades 2nd to 5th
Source: Personal Copy
NonFiction * American History * Picture Book
Description from Publisher's Page:
More than any other event the Boston Tea Party of 1773 has come to stand for the determination of American colonists to control their own destinies. From the arrival of the ships full of controversial taxed tea in Boston Harbor through the explosive protest meetings at the Old South Church to the defiant act of dumping 226 chests of fine tea into the harbor on December 16, Freedman captures this exciting story in vivid prose. In lush, intricately detailed watercolor paintings, Peter Malone artfully depicts the colonial era and the charged atmosphere of Boston during these pivotal developments that ushered in the Revolutionary War. Source notes, a bibliography, a time line, an afterward, a note about tea, a historical map, and an index are included in this opulently designed volume.
My thoughts on the book:
Most of us that live in the United States, and especially those growing up in New England, grow up with some knowledge of the Boston Tea Party. However, I realized just how little I recalled about this event in history as I read through Freedman's picture book The Boston Tea Party.
Freedman begins with a two page introduction that provides the reader with the basic information needed to understand what will unfold on the following pages.
Freedman's text is straight-forward. Though you know you are reading a picture book and a story, there is still a strong sense that you are reading history. As I read through the book, I never felt that Freedman had moved into a fictionalized account of this important event. Instead, I sensed he was working to provide young readers with the same quality of historical information, as an author might for an adult audience.
Peter Malone's paintings provide a visual story for readers and allows them a sense of what Boston would have looked like during that period of history.
At the end, Freedman includes some author's notes, a bibliography, and a timeline which are helpful resources for students looking for additional information or for a teacher interested in sharing more facts with his or his students.
Freedman's The Boston Tea Party would be a solid resource in a classroom or school library. Look for this book at your local indie bookstore or school and/or public library. Though the book is slated to be released on August 1, 2012, it is available through some booksellers at this point.
I encourage those of you who have been participating in the NonFiction Picture Book Challenge to add a link to your recent reviews. Thanks for participating.