Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Five 4ths of July by Pat Hughes - ESSENTIAL

Hughes, Pat Raccio Five 4ths of July, 274 p. Viking (Penguin), 2011.  $17.  Violence: PG (some war, some prisoner abuse – none of it graphic).  Jake Mallery lives his life chaffing under the rules, restrictions and disapproval of his stern father.  At the 1st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, “Mal” (as he is called by friends, neighbors and enemies, for his habit of always doing the wrong thing – and usually on purpose) and his friends start a tradition of illicit oyster eating.  Through successive 4ths of July, we see the rebellious streak grow, and then in 1779, when the British invade New Haven, right through Jake’s village, Jake’s life gets much worse than he ever dreamed possible.  If he can survive the next two years, he may have the time to actually grow up.  Just when I think there is really nothing new anyone can write about the American Revolution, I am totally proven wrong.  Hughes book will resonate with young boys wanting to spread their wings and then draw them right in to showing all that is so horrible about war.  Don’t be afraid of this book – show this to your boys who need a piece of historical fiction. EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

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