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Finding Providence: The Story of Roger Williams (I Can Read Book 4) Paperback – August 2, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 450L (What's this?)
  • Series: I Can Read Book 4
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; English Language edition (August 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780064442169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064442169
  • ASIN: 0064442160
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4?Told in the voice of Roger Williams's young daughter, Mary, this brief chapter book recounts the most dramatic period in Williams's life, prompted by his expulsion from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his dissenting views. The tale opens with a hearing in which John Cotton questions him and concludes with the founding of Providence, Rhode Island. As might be expected in a 48-page book for beginning readers, the portrait Avi draws is necessarily sketchy: only the high points of Williams's character and beliefs are covered. Nonetheless, he does capture some of the man's integrity and convictions. And by placing the voice of the story with Williams's young daughter, the author conveys some of the poignancy of the situation. Although some of the character's features are blurry, the full- and half-page watercolor illustrations are realistic and balance the text nicely. A welcome introduction to the life of one of our country's founders.?Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2^-3. With powerful simplicity, Avi tells the story of Roger Williams, the devout Puritan preacher who was driven from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635 because he stood up for the separation of church and state. This biography in the I Can Read Chapter Book series is told through the slightly fictionalized first-person narrative of Williams' young daughter, who witnesses the court case in Boston where Williams is accused of preaching for religious freedom and against the Europeans' right to Indian land. New readers will be caught by the drama of the court case and then by the historical adventure of Williams' escape into the wilderness, where he survives with the help of his Narraganset Indian friends and goes on to found the settlement of Providence, Rhode Island. Watling's glowing illustrations on every page create a strong sense of the period, though at times they almost overpower the spare text. Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

More info at avi-writer.com and facebook.com/avi.writer
--------------------------------------------------------
Avi is part of a family of writers extending back into the 19th century. Born in 1937 and raised in New York City, Avi was educated in local schools, before going to the Midwest and then back to NYC to complete his education. Starting out as a playwright--while working for many years as a librarian--he began writing books for young people when the first of his kids came along.

His first book was Things That Sometimes Happen, published in 1970, and recently reissued. Since then he has published seventy books. Winner of many awards, including the 2003 Newbery award for Crispin: the Cross of Lead (Hyperion), two Newbery Honors, two Horn Book awards, and an O'Dell award, as well as many children's choice awards, he frequently travels to schools around the country to talk to his readers.

Among his most popular books are Crispin: The Cross of Lead, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, the Poppy books, Midnight Magic, and The Fighting Ground.

In 2008 he published The Seer of Shadows (HarperCollins), A Beginning a Muddle and an End (Harcourt), Hard Gold (Hyperion) and Not Seeing is Believing, a one-act play in the collection, Acting Out (Simon and Schuster). Crispin: the End of Time, the third in the Newbery Award-winning series, was published in 2010. City of Orphans was released in 2011, receiving a number of starred reviews. Learn more at Avi-writer.com. Follow Avi on Facebook, facebook.com/avi.writer, where he shares an inside look at his writing process.

Avi lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and family.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Will Riddle on June 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I very much appreciate the other reviewers who are Roger Williams' descendants and wrote here. With all due respect to them, I feel this account of Roger Williams is slightly biased, which is why I only gave it four stars.

To be sure, my early elementary kids enjoyed it. It is a great story, and it fits in very well with the other I Can Read Books on early American history. It is also one of the only ones that address the 1600s. At face value, it deserves at least four stars, so that's what I gave it.

But as an adult, I felt there was some co-opting going on. I am very sensitive to revisionism, and the book came across as very judgmental against the Puritans. There were Puritan elements that warrant criticism, but the court scene with Roger Williams in the beginning and the dialogue that likened them to the British was too harsh. It came across as though the Puritans were the bad guys, very similar to Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" or even the Pharisees in the Bible. I could almost hear the crowd calling out, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Perhaps this is exactly what the author intended.

I don't think that is appropriate for a first reader. A more balanced approach would have presented the case more matter of factly. And given due respect to the Puritan heritage of the country in contrast to the religious oppression in Europe. Some of the I Can Reads do this very well when talking about the British during the American Revolution, for example (even though we of course still side with the Americans in the end). But there was not even one sentence in this book that explained why the Puritans thought Roger Williams was wrong. There was just a nameless faceless crowd that came across as emotional and irrational.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Vong on April 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book to my two boys, ages 5 and 9. They enjoyed learning about such a great man. Of course, we unlike many Americans, knew something about Roger Williams before we read this book. We are descendents of his, through his son, Daniel. I was very proud to read about such a great man, who did the courageous things that he did at the time that he did them and to be able to call him Grandfather, was a treasured moment. Thank you to the Author for writing the book. What most people do not know is that Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State were ideas that he was the first to fight for in America. So whether you are Baptist, Catholic, Muslim or Buddhist, you should Know that the men who wrote the American Constitution, got some of their ideas from a man who lived 150 years before their time; and that he fought for you to be able to worship as you choose.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was elated to find this book, have purchased 10 copies to date for children, cousins, etc. As a 13th generation direct descendent of Roger Williams daughter Mary (later married John Sayles) who tells the simple yet historically correct and fascinating story of her father's banishment from Mass. and how they ended up "founding Rhode Island." This is simple to read for children and interesting for adults alike. I would like to recommend this for all school age children interested in learning more about our American heritage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an adventurous book, and it is a true story. I learned that the man who founded Providence is named Roger Williams. It was nice for the kids that it was told from his daughter's point of view. I gave the book three stars because the people in the pictures were stiff and not real looking. I would recommend this book for someone who likes history.
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Format: Paperback
I am very impressed with the detail of this book. 2nd - 4th graders are introduced to the Puritans' struggle for religious freedom and their tendency to fall back to old patterns of persecution. Roger Williams and his family are portrayed as the real people they were, making it easy for the ready the empathize. However, the books ends with the comment that the separation of church and state has been secured by our constitution, which is untrue. The separation of church and state is an idea that came through a court decision years after the constitution was ratified.
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