Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB):
"Headstrong and passionate, often confused but always resourceful, Jake Mallery earns a place ... as a brilliantly developed character who embodies the dignity - even heroism - of survival in perilous times."
"[S]traightforward and well-conceived novel. ... A fine addition to collections on the war and an eye-opening look at the horrors of British prison ships, where 11,500 Americans died." - KirkusStarred review,
"Hughes has written a powerful and resonant story about the effects of war upon a family and a community, and readers will suffer and triumph along with Jake on his epic, five-year journey."
"Jake's epiphany - that the ideals and life aspirations of Loyalists and Patriots can be one and the same - could have readers drawing parallels to today's global rebellions and often warlike freedom-seeking protests. ... A great adventure story with strong discussion potential." - School Library Journal
"Hughes' writing is vivid, and Mal, Tim, and the other captives emerge, not only as real persons, but as real adolescents discovering what the world is like and what impact an individual can make. This is honest, eye-opening historical fiction that illuminates the past and connects it to ourselves." - VOYA“The book has all the excitement of battle and pain of romantic love, but its strongest point is its nuanced intelligence. Maintaining the same balance she employed in another fine YA novel, The Breaker Boys, … Hughes paints a picture not only of a nation divided, but also of individuals unsure of what's right and wrong, or even torn between self-interest and the good of their new nation.”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
From the Inside Flap
"Smart and spirited, with remarkably real characters, Five 4ths of July
is a historical novel with a contemporary edge - one that shines a very human light on the dawning days of our nation."