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Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution Hardcover – June 3, 2008


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Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution + George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689858086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689858086
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–5—The stories of 22 "Revolutionary Grandmothers" take center stage in this well-illustrated volume. A few of the names are familiar—Phillis Wheatley, Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Deborah Sampson—but as the author establishes, there are many women and girls whose large and small contributions to the cause of independence have been largely ignored. Prudence Wright and Sarah Shattuck guarded their village when the men were fighting at Concord and Lexington, and they captured a British spy. After her husband was killed in battle, Margaret Corbin fired his cannon until she was shot, making her the first American woman to receive a military pension. Whether the women were disguising themselves as men in order to be soldiers, raising money for suffering soldiers, sewing and knitting for the troops, or participating in protests or a boycott of British goods, their actions were significant. Faulkner's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are exuberant, often amusing, and filled with crosshatching and dialogue balloons. The spreads are busy and information-packed, and readers will be both engaged by and educated about this critical period.—Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A stirring portrait of the women who made America possible.

Beginning with the scene of a school play about the Founding Fathers, Anderson declares that if we look only at them we are missing half of the story. Then she begins with small vignettes of some of our heroines. Sybil Ludington rode longer than Paul Revere and didn’t get caught! The Daughters of Liberty make an appearance, along with nine-year-old Susan Boudinot who protested at a tea party of the Royal Governor. Writers (Phyllis Wheatley), soldiers (Deborah Sampson), spies, scouts, nurses, and the wives of the patriots all get their due via a small fact and portrait....

[Anderson] keeps the text lively and encourages young readers to find out more. At the bottom of each picture Anderson includes a timeline of events and defines some of the terms, making the book even more information rich. At the end of the forty-page book, she adds material on other women and a great bibliography. This short text lends itself to all kinds of activities or acts simply as a supplement for more traditional texts. Anderson’s research is thorough and her understanding of young readers, as always, is profound. When I conducted an informal poll of school librarians and teachers, Independent Dames emerged as their favorite book for Women’s History Month. Writing with passion and humor, Laurie Halse Anderson is on a mission to set the record straight. And she does!" (Anita Silvey Anita Silvey's Children's Book-A-Day Almanac)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Erin Johnson on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
First of all, on the very first spread there's a little glossary of `Who's Who' which I think will be extremely helpful for youngsters (heck, even for adults!). Some terms include: Militia, Patriots, Loyalists and Parliament. A timeline follows which goes throughout the rest of the book. I love the continuity of facts in the timeline which can be read at the same time as the "fun" part of the book, or separately. It really depends on the reader and how much they want to know! I read them at the same time, which was interesting, but I think that the intended audience of this one might enjoy the illustrated text first, then go back and read the timeline (or vice versa) as you lose a bit of the continuity of the story going back and forth.

Most people probably think women didn't help all that much during the Revolution, or do things other than sew and nurse. They'd probably be quite surprised to know that there were women who dressed as men to become soldiers and that many were spies! They also took over family farms or even became blacksmiths if their husbands had died!

Generally speaking, I like the illustrations, but there's something about them that just bothers me a little bit. While I think they're fun and probably attractive to children, the added dialogue boxes don't always work for me, nor do the faces of the women. They aren't caricatures by any means, but that's what they remind me of. Granted, finding out what some of these women looked like may have proved difficult, but I think because of the seriousness of their contributions they could have been treated a little more respectfully.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on January 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Unlike most historical accounts of the American Revolution, Independent Dames focuses on the critical roles played by countless women-some prominent, most not. As anger in the colonies over British taxes and authoritarian rule spread, women exerted their power as consumers by boycotting British goods such as tea and cloth. Groups calling themselves "Daughers of Liberty" sewed clothing made from homespun cloth, supported American businesses, and even harassed shopkeepers that sold British imports.

Women also worked actively as spies before and during the war, using a variety of clever means to disguise themselves and the information they carried. While banned from joining the army, a number of women disguised themselves as men so they could engage in active combat, and even more worked as camp followers to perform the caring labor that supported the army. Women fundraisers collected thousands of dollars to support the war effort, and women took on a variety of non-traditional occupations vacated by men-including printers, carpenters, and shopkeepers-to keep the economy going.

Thoroughly researched and illustrated with a graphic-novel approach, this unique book makes a strong contribution by busting a number of high-profile myths and setting the record straight on the multiple ways in which women and girls shaped the course of history during the American Revolution. The country owes much to their powerful acts as consumers, producers, spies, soldiers, fundraisers, and workers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Chapman on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so well written and illustrated that our DAR State Society purchased ten copies to present to school libraries.
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By Amazon Customer on April 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my daughter's research into the war and the Daughters of Liberty. Great pictures, great content, nicely laid out.
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