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Good Story--But Be Careful If Reading To Young Children
on January 27, 2014
This was a Christmas present for my 7-year-old who loves reading about history. He loves the Magic Tree House and I Survived series. I chose this one because he enjoys reading about the Revolutionary War. He decided that instead of reading it by himself (He's a really good reader for a second grader!), he wanted me to read a chapter or two aloud each night. That was fine with me because I love reading to him and his 5-year-old brother. The story started off really well--some boys starting an adventure club. Both boys enjoyed it. There is obviously a time-travel component, and the chapters dealing with how the kids traveled back in time via an old rowboat kind of frightened both boys. Once we got past that part, they really got into the story. The boys (and one's little sister) end up with George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Through several events, the kids get separated, meet interesting people, wonder how they'll get back home, etc. We have only read about 3/4 of the book, and we are all enjoying the adventure. However, I will caution you that there are some words in this book that I don't feel are appropriate for a children's book. In fact, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them as I was reading ahead. Honestly, that kind of ruined the book for me. Luckily, since I'm reading it aloud, I can skip over or change certain words instead of saying them. Also, this is a book about war, and some of the descriptions of injuries, wounds, and illnesses are a bit more graphic than I would have liked. It's a really interesting story that keeps your attention, but I don't think I would want my children reading it independently, even if they were a little older. Also, as a former elementary school teacher, I wouldn't recommend it as a read-aloud selection unless you want to read it ahead of time and edit out inappropriate material. As much as the boys and I like the story itself, I must be honest: I probably would not have purchased the book if I had known it contained profanity--even a little. Maybe I'm naive, but I didn't expect books written for children (even somewhat older children) to contain "bad" words. They grow up so fast as it is. We'll finish the book because we do like the story and want to see how it turns out. I just wish I had gotten a "heads up" before we got interested in it.