Future voters of the world, unite. The vote, Stier makes clear, is a great gift we have given ourselves.

TODAY ON ELECTION DAY

A proudly buoyant tour of Election Day in the U.S.A.

This spry salute to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November generates a significant amount of positive energy. Only through active engagement in the process—informing yourself, going to the polling station—will you be tapping into the possibilities of the system. Everything else is just so much hot air. Stier neither belabors nor stints on the text. There is a decent amount of information to be imparted, if only to acquaint readers with political parties, campaigns, Congress, the history of the vote, Constitutional amendments, debates and voting, and it is done in an easy, if modestly didactic voice. It has the genuine ring of smart young students giving the oral presentation of their civics projects, sweet and serious. Stier situates the activity around the children's school, and Leonard makes the most of the setting, giving it the warm, watercolor cast of a small town, yet modern in its computer voting machines. And all ages are involved, young to old, with the finger squarely placed on the importance of 18-year-olds assuming this mantle of importance.

Future voters of the world, unite. The vote, Stier makes clear, is a great gift we have given ourselves. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8008-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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A crisp historical vignette.

BEN'S REVOLUTION

BENJAMIN RUSSELL AND THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL

A boy experiences the Boston Tea Party, the response to the Intolerable Acts, and the battle at Breed’s Hill in Charlestown.

Philbrick has taken his Bunker Hill (2013), pulled from its 400 pages the pivotal moments, added a 12-year-old white boy—Benjamin Russell—as the pivot, and crafted a tale of what might have happened to him during those days of unrest in Boston from 1773 to 1775 (Russell was a real person). Philbrick explains, in plainspoken but gradually accelerating language, the tea tax, the Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts, and the quartering of troops in Boston as well as the institution of a military government. Into this ferment, he introduces Benjamin Russell, where he went to school, his part-time apprenticeship at Isaiah Thomas’ newspaper, sledding down Beacon Hill, and the British officer who cleaned the cinders from the snow so the boys could sled farther and farther. It is these humanizing touches that make war its own intolerable act. Readers see Benjamin, courtesy of Minor’s misty gouache-and-watercolor tableaux, as he becomes stranded outside Boston Neck and becomes a clerk for the patriots. Significant characters are introduced, as is the geography of pre-landfilled Boston, to gain a good sense of why certain actions took place where they did. The final encounter at Breed’s Hill demonstrates how a battle can be won by retreating.

A crisp historical vignette. (maps, author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Historical fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-16674-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Vivid, absorbing, and inspiring.

REVOLUTIONARY PRUDENCE WRIGHT

LEADING THE MINUTE WOMEN IN THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE

From the time she was a young girl, Prudence Wright “had a spark of independence.”

The story begins with a brief recounting of various ways young Prudence defied traditional gender roles while growing up in Pepperell, Massachusetts Colony, including outperforming boys at school, hunting, fishing, and debating her brothers on political issues. As she grows older, Prudence fumes at King George III’s increasingly punitive laws, which include onerous taxes on British goods. In 1773, when the men of Pepperell vote to join the Colony’s resistance to British rule and begin training in militias, Prudence and the women in her quilting circle stage their own rebellion by dumping British tea into a bonfire on the town common and boycotting other British goods. As King George clamps down on protests, the colonists declare war. While most of Pepperell’s men are away fighting in skirmishes, Prudence discovers that Tory spies are planning to infiltrate the town and organizes the townswomen to defend it. She leads the lasses—armed and dressed in men’s clothing—in a dramatic ambush on Pepperell’s bridge, making revolutionary history as head of “the first-ever unit of minute women.” Reagan’s accomplished illustrations, executed in watercolor with digital drawing, add historical veracity to Anderson’s superbly documented, at times hair-raising narrative. The author explicitly situates Wright and her female comrades as pioneers who “proved themselves as full citizens” in an era before female enfranchisement. Most characters are White, but a few of the colonists present as people of color.

Vivid, absorbing, and inspiring. (afterword, author’s note, illustrator’s note, bibliography) (Historical fiction/picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64472-057-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Astra Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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