Hello!!! I hope you are all doing okay and staying healthy right now. I have decided to change the format of my reviews yet again, and this time, I am going to do it in a two part format: what I liked, and what I didn’t like. Pretty simple, right? Anyways, I’ll continue to talk about the writing, the plot and the characters! Also, this review is spoiler free unless you purposefully click to reveal the spoilers which will be marked. So, without further ado, here is my review of The American Twins of the Revolution, by Lucy Fitch Perkins.
In September of 1777, General Washington and his troops are encamped just north of Philadelphia. The war is not going well for the Continental Army, the British are closing in fast and, worst of all, there is no money to pay the discouraged troops. Twins Sally and Roger are asked by their father, General Priestly, to help their mother hide a shipment of gold which will be used to pay the American soldiers. Unfortunately, British spies have also learned about the gold and will stop at nothing to prevent it from reaching General Washington. Mrs. Priestly and her children must act quickly to keep the gold hidden and deliver it safely to the waiting army. Based on a true story, this is a thrilling episode from our nation’s history!
Genre: children’s fiction, historical fiction
Publication date: originally published: January 1st, 1926
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I appreciated that Mrs. Priestly really took charge, and didn’t rely on her husband or other men. This would have been sadly uncommon during the revolutionary war; to have a woman that was allowed to be that independent, and I really admired how Mrs. Priestly handled everything.
I also enjoyed the plot. It wasn’t amazingly fantastic, but it was a nice story about two kids during the revolutionary war. I just think that it could have been written out a little better.
My biggest problem with this book was that it romanticized slavery quite a bit. Aunt Hitty and Uncle Jude were treated like family members, and they cared for the twins, and they were treated kindly. But they were still slaves! Romanticizing slavery is not a good thing, cannot be ignored, no matter when the book was first published. The thing is, this book was first publish almost a century ago, and I know that treating slavery like it wasn’t that bad was fairly common in the time, but that does not excuse it in any way. This book is aimed at younger children, and simply reading them the book would give them wrong ideas about what slavery was like.
My other problem was that although I appreciated Mrs. Priestly’s character, independence and will, I did not appreciate one bit how although Roger and Sally were the exact same age (they’re twins) Roger acted older, more mature, more responsible, and just because he was a boy, it seemed. For example,
view spoilerWhen Mrs. Priestly realizes that the British soldiers are trying to break into their house to steal the gold, she runs into the twins room. She has Sally stay in bed, concealing the gold under her covers and has Roger go with her to bravely push the ladder away from the house, to stop the robbers.
I also had a hard time reading Aunt Hitty and Uncle Jude’s dialect/speech. I understand why authors write books with certain dialects; Lois Lenski is an incredible example of that, however, when the writing get really hard to read and understand, I don’t think that it’s necessary.
Overall, the intention is nice, but I had to many problems with it to really enjoy it. Reading a book that romanticizes slavery makes me really mad because slavery was not something to take lightly, even in a children’s book.
Do I recommend it? No
MY RATING: 2.5/5 stars.
Have you read The American Twins of the Revolution? I haven’t read a book published that long ago in a while. Have you? Chat with me in the comments below!
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