The Revolutionary War that gave America its freedom touched the lives of thousands of families — including children — in far distant places. Freedom’s Fire tells the story of four such families.
The events leading up to the Battle of Long Island are seen through the eyes of Maggie, a young Scottish girl living in England while her father prepares for war; James, a young American boy of Dutch descent living in New York City; Joe, an African-American slave on an upstate New York manor; and Taipa, a member of the Wappinger Nation in the lower Hudson River Valley. Each of these young lives is forever affected by the Revolution and its aftermath.
The narrative moves smoothly from one child’s perspective to the next as events circle ever closer to the fateful battle on August 27, 1776. Ultimately, all four children and their families are brought close together as the young Colonies prepare to fight the British. The unique perspectives of each character drive a compelling narrative that provides fresh insights into what life may have been like for young people who were present at the tumultuous birth of the young country, America.
As a teacher, I am always looking for books to use with my students. When I found this unique story, I was drawn to read it. It’s use of four unique perspectives–a child of a British soldier, a child of an American Patriot, a Native American child, and a young slave–creates a wonderful story that explores the Revolutionary War with real heart and understanding. I found it very engaging, and didn’t want to put it down. When I finished I was already wishing that there was a sequel to the story, so I could find out what happened to these magnetic characters. This is a great story, and I look forward to reading more by this talented author!
I bought this book from an author’s forum. The author signed it and I was pleased to meet her. I was even more pleased with the book! The story takes place during the beginning of the Revolutionary War in areas around New York City and what is now Duchess County. Four children deal with the coming war from four different perspectives – A Wappinger girl whose tribe decides to support the colonists, an English girl who sees her brother leave for war, a slave boy who leaves for the front with his master, and a Dutch boy whose father runs a newspaper and publishes editorials supporting independence. While the book is still tame so it can accommodate older elementary children, it allows perspectives that most authors never consider. A very nice book and kudos to the author for writing it.