Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution by Jonathan W. Stokes - ADVISABLE

Stokes, Jonathan W. The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution A Handbook for Time Travelers, 137 pages. NON-FICTION. Viking (Penguin Random House), 2018. $14. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.

Premise: It’s 2164 and time travel is possible. This is a guidebook provided by Time Corp for travelers to the American Revolution giving them background on the events they will see, specific dates to travel to and what is happening on those dates.  Battles and events are described succinctly and humorously, including a chart for each battle with the “score” and who won (death count, wounded and captured included) Important historical figures are highlighted with a short biography as “people to have lunch with” and include Phillis Wheatley,  Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Alexander Hamilton and John Paul Jones and others.   It contains hints on survival - like how to load and fire a musket, what to do if you are shot by a musket, or shot at by a cannon, or if you are taken prisoner by the British.

What a fun way to get a overview of the Revolutionary War! I was impressed and entertained.  The history is accurate with lots of interesting points - like how Lieutenant George Washington’s experience in 1754 made him the best qualified to lead the whole army by 1776.  The pen and ink illustrations are delightful and add context.  Includes maps - which contain only the specific details the text are referring to, and footnotes which add a little more context but are usually funny.  The bibliography is short - only 5 books long.  A great springboard for a longer study of the Revolution, and could also be used to summarize the battles and events for a history class.  I was skeptical because of the premise, but found it to be quite a good read and very entertaining.  It looks like it will become a series.

MS - ADVISABLE  Lisa Librarian

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