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Road to Revolution! (Cartoon Chronicles of America) Paperback – July 21, 2009


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Paperback, July 21, 2009
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Series: Cartoon Chronicles of America
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599903717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599903712
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,167,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—This first installment in the series takes place in Boston, 1775, in the days leading up to the American Revolution, where two children aid the Rebel cause. Nick helps Paul Revere alert the Rebels of the British advance, Penny foils the attack on Bunker Hill, and both of them encounter Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and George Washington. Endnotes sort the fictional events from facts, but readers unfamiliar with the history may be confused. The whimsical illustrations are drawn in shaky, cartoonish scrawls, printed in full color on glossy paper. One of the book's strengths lies in the inclusion of a strong female character, and the story often comments on the limited roles available to women at the time. The portrayal of the Tories and Rebels is not terribly nuanced, however. All of the Tories are bullish, unattractive louts, in contrast to the sensitive, handsome Rebels. This is an amusing piece of historical fiction with plenty of appeal to children, but it should be read by those with some background in history, or in conjunction with a more straightforward account.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Stan Mack has created documentary style comic strips (including Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies, which ran in the Village Voice for 20 years), graphic histories (including The Story of the Jews: A 4,000 Year Adventure), and children's picture books. Mack graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is a former art director of The New York Times Magazine. www.stanmack.com
 
Susan Champlin is a freelance writer and editor who has written for PBS, PBS Kids, Discovery Communications, and National Geographic Kid, and has been on the staff of some of the biggest magazines in the country, including People and Bon Appétit.

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Customer Reviews

I do like to read interesting books about history.
EMTP EJ
My reader says, "Most chapter books for my age have only a few pictures, but this one is all pictures. It really helps tell the story."
Carol M
The Epilogue explains which parts of the story are fact and which are fiction.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alex Honda on April 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
THE ROAD TO REVOLUTION! (THE CARTOON CHRONICLES OF AMERICA) is a wonderful comic book/graphic novel that gets kids engaged and interested in reading about the Revolutionary War.

It does this by introducing two fictional main characters that young readers can identify with, a street orphan named Nick and the daughter of a tavern owner named Penny, who become friends and mini-detectives as they spy on the British and pass info on to the secessionists who wanted independence from Britain.

The comic's panels are drawn with cute illustrations (although graphic at times showing injuries and death on the battle field), and uses simple language for kids to understand. In fact, I think THE ROAD TO... would be helpful for those studying or learning English, too.

An informative prologue is provided in the beginning that lists some of the important events (i.e. Boston Tea Party etc.) that led up to the Revolutionary War, again in very simple, succinct language.

The comic book's story is interesting and weaves the fictional characters into historical facts and people including the battle of Lexington and Concord--known for Paul Revere's famous ride--and the first major battle on Bunker Hill.

An epilogue is included at the end where each chapter is reviewed, separating fact from fiction.

I enjoyed the book but the story ends in 1776. I would have liked to see more adventures with Nick and Penny up to 1781 when the fighting actually stopped. But otherwise it's a fun read and you learn a little about history in the process.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By amazonbuyer on April 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I allowed my 5th grade son to read this first so that I could question him regarding the historical content of the book. I wanted to know if the facts would get lost in the cartoon approach. When I questioned him about certain facts that were new to me he backed them up by showing me the chapter notes in the "Epilogue".

The two historical figures that caught his attention were Dr. Joseph Warren and Dr. Benjamin Church. As a result of my questioning I realized that the book only gave the basic roles of both men. But we used the book as a jumping board and ultimately studied the lives of both men.

When I read the book myself I began to appreciate the way the conflicts & dilemmas facing the Bostonians (and colonists in general) were laid out. The cartoon format really lends itself to doing this in a quick & concise way. Thus the book is not meant to give extreme detail, but basic details that will spark interest in the Revolution & give a foundation upon which to build.

The humor "Road to Revolution" incorporate makes it perfect for boys, but girls will enjoy it also. My son was laughing aloud while reading the book. I didn't find it as humorous, but I am not in the target age group.

Notes to parents and teachers of younger children who may read the book:

* Nick is a pick-pocket and lives a rather rough life and Penny works serving drinks in her dad's tavern. At one point they find themselves in a wine cellar and Nick uncorks a bottle of Madeira and chugs down a bit. Notes in the back of the book explain that the water supply and even milk were not safe to drink, so even children drank alcohol.

*A "Teacher's Guide" is included in the back of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth R. Shaw VINE VOICE on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a great book for young people, easy to approach, and the cartoon aspect is great for all ages. I am an avid believer in multi media in education. I think that using the Road to Revolution as a starter book in school or for young readers. Engaging and fun, a great way to learn!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By coffee mama on July 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best book read so far out of about 2 dozen Revolutionary War books for 9-12 year-olds. Please give us more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LS on May 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We have a large collection of graphic novels and both my girls 9 and 13 have read many from the library also. While I would give this 4 stars for interesting historical story, 3 Stars for educational value about the Revolutionary War and 3 stars for the styling on the graphics. The story is engaging but the drawing is fairly mediocre and the actual facts are limited. The feel for the period and the tension level was less then I think it could have been. Neither of my girls read much beyond the first couple of pages even with prodding on my part. If this was a new format for them they might have gotten further. They prefer the Chester the Crab series much more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lorel Shea VINE VOICE on April 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Teens Nick and Penny find themselves enmeshed with the Sons of Liberty and the American Revolution. This graphic novel/ comic book should appeal to young people who have a preference for visual learning.

The interactions seems bit forced at times, and Nick is even given credit for showing the lanterns at the Old North Church. "One if by land, two if by sea". I also am not crazy about their modern day expressions, but I am willing to overlook that because they did do a good job of making the American Revolution accessible and including lots of accurate historical details, such as the fact that the Battle of Bunker Hill was actully fought on nearby Breed's Hill. The main characters are memorable, as are the real people that are portrayed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol Toscano VINE VOICE on April 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was a very informative read and I wish I'd have had this type of learning tool as a child. Once I started reading this, I couldn't put it down. It's the pre-Revolution to Revolution semi-fictional (the historic points were pretty correct as far as I could tell) account from the viewpoint of two children (Nick and Penny) living in Boston (under very different living circumstances) beginning in the time just prior to the Revolution. It's like a graphic novel/comic book - not exactly American Splendor - but very good. And the authors provided a bit of humor in a few places in the text but this was my favorite example:

A British wagon is stuck in the mud and the British Soldiers need help from unemployed dock workers:

British Soldier: You loafers get over here and give us a hand!

Dock Worker 1: You close our port so we can't work and then you want our help?

Dock Worker 2: You lazy lobsterbacks can do your own !@#$% work!

Dock Worker 3: And your mothers are ugly, too!

Come on - that's classic. I really really enjoyed this read and I re-learned a few things as well (elementary school was a pretty long time ago for me). I liked the fact that this had visual aids like a wartime cartoon version of a map of Boston and a brief history preceding the graphic novel portion. Once you're done reading that, there's an epilogue that explains which aspects were fact and and which were fiction. My copy also had a teaching guide that was pretty interesting and inventive but I don't know if all versions will have that.

Very nice. Thoroughly enjoyed. A lot of kids will learn important facts about the history of our country and not even realize it.
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