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Sackets Harbor Powder Monkey: The War of 1812 Paperback – July 15, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hope Irvin Marston is the author of more than thirty children’s books and several adult titles. She has written MY LITTLE BOOK wildlife picture book series that has grown to eight titles with more than 125,000 copies in print. A number of her publications are award-winners. Her most recently released story, Eye on the Iditarod: Aisling’s Quest (Windward, December, 2011), is the biography of an eleven-year old Maine musher. A native of central Pennsylvania, the eighth child in a farm family of nine, Hope is a graduate of Milligan College (TN) and of SUNY at Geneseo. She and her husband of more than fifty years share their Black River (NY) home with Heidi, a lovable Bernese mountain dog. A former junior high school teacher/librarian in Watertown (NY), Hope retired in 1990 to write full time. Her bio is listed in Something about the Author (Gale). She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Adirondack Center for Writing, the Greater Thousand Islands Literacy Council, the Jeff-Lewis Librarians Association, the St. Lawrence County Arts Council, and the North Country Arts Council. She has been on staff for several Christian Writers Conferences and has taught creative writing workshops at Jefferson Community College (NY), the Jefferson-Lewis Teacher Center, and the North Country Arts Council. Hope enjoys making school presentations from kindergarten through post-graduate college students and directs writing workshops for kids and adults. When she is not researching, reading or writing, you are apt to find her cooking or baking in the kitchen, or out walking Heidi. Now that Sackets Harbor Powder Monkey – The War of 1812, her second historical novel, has been released in both Kindle and print versions, Hope is back at her desk doing a final editing of her next historical work, Hannah Brown – Pioneer Girl. You can find out more about Hope at www.HopeIrvinMarston.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Hope I Marston (July 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984993517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984993512
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anchors aweigh. Hope Irvin Marston, the well-known author of more than thirty books for children, has written a historical novel for middle school students. Middle school is when kids study New York State history, and Hope is a retired North Country middle-school teacher and librarian. So she knows her stuff. From its appealing front cover design to the illustrated warship Oneida that sails across the back, this is a carefully researched tale. Based on the little-known first battle of Sackets Harbor, the book was written to coincide with that battle's bicentennial. Young readers will identify with 11-year-old Rankin McMullin, who longs to take part in a real fight. They will learn along with him about the workings of early sailing vessels, back in the days when Rankin and America's Navy were nearly equal in age. The persons and events in the book are real, but invented dialogue has been added to dramatize the action. The story is made more true-to-life by the inclusion of early nineteenth century nautical terms like "binnacle" and "carronade." A helpful glossary is provided; as well as an Afterword; a hand-drawn, commissioned map; a brief discussion of battle folklore; an annotated bibliography; and suggestions for further reading. The back matter is especially helpful and complete. This book will appeal to Social Studies teachers, history and genealogy buffs, battle re-enactors, and anyone who loves the Sackets Harbor region.
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Format: Paperback
This book didn't feel like a history lesson to me but I sure did learn a lot.

The author did a wonderful job of taking real life people and events and incorporating them into an interesting tale. I live in New York, and I didn't even know about this important battle in Sackets Harbor. She related life on a warship from the stinkin' bilges to the duties of many of the crew and that of a powder monkey. Each member had undoubted patriotism and extreme courage.

I love that Hope saw a need out there and she met it head on. There are not adequate children's books covering this battle in a way that they can understand. Hope has included a lot of extras in the afterward too, including a glossary of words used. This book is ideal for learning in a traditional or homeschooling environment and in my opinion, it would be ideal for grades 2-6.

Congratulations Hope on your first self published book. I know you will have continued success with this book and all the future stories you feel led to write.

The author sent me the above book for review purposes. She will allow me to keep the book. I have no other connection to and have received no other compensation from Hope Irvin Marston.
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Format: Paperback
Not only is this a must-read for both kids and adults who love adventure stories, it is also a fascinating peek at the opening battle of the War of 1812. Told through the eyes of 11-year-old Rankin McMullin, a capable boy from Sackets Harbor, NY, the reader is taken on board the warship Oneida and experiences the day-to-day life of a young powder monkey. Hope Irvin Marston is a master at weaving historically accurate details into a gripping tale, which makes this book perfect for classroom read-a-louds. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
The story begins with a ten year old boy named Rankin sneaking out of bed to catch a glimpse of the warship sent to guard Lake Ontario from imminent attack by the British. The embargo prevents the local farmers from trading with the Canadians preventing the Americans from smuggling potash in for sale. Rankin, his brother Will, and his Pa risk arrest every time they cross the river. Rankin is enthralled by the warship and is determined to find a way to enlist in the fight. Will convinces his parents to allow them to try. Captain Woolsey is impressed with the boys' enthusiasm and astounded that they can write. Rankin will become a powder monkey, which means he will be transporting the gun powder to the cannons. Will,who had been an apprentice with a gunsmith, will be an armourer working with weapons aboard the ship.

Marston does an excellent job of portraying the emotions of these two boys. The glamor soon wears off as Rankin must swab the bilge and Will spends hours cleaning rust off the old cannons. Much to their dismay their ship is dispatched to catch smugglers; friends and family trying to sell potash just as they had done. Rankin is becoming despondent. Finally, one year later in 1812, war is officially declared. Their ship, the Oneida, is no match for the British fleet. How will they and the hard working families of Sackets Harbor face the overwhelming odds? Can they succeed in defeating the British?

The author provides lots of resources to help the reader fully comprehend the historical events. There is a map of the area, a list of the historical characters, a glossary of time period and naval terms, an annotated bibliography including internet resources, how to visit the battlefield, and even the local folklore associated with it. Teachers and homeschooling parents will be able to take this story and use it as a springboard for discussion and activities in many other areas of the curriculum.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hope Marston writes with precise attention to detail in everything from the ships, sailors and carronades of the period to the families inhabiting Sackets Harbor. It focuses on two youngsters who join up to experience life on an American warship. It's detail is comparable to Richard Henry Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast" written a couple of decades after the War of 1812. "Powder Monkey" is much shorter while obviously designed for a young teenage readership, it is informative reading for adults of all ages. All wars create bloodshed and loss of life, but the author skilfully skirts that along with any debate on why this useless war actually happened. The bottom line: A valuable and deftly created insight, a window on America 200 years ago.
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Sackets Harbor Powder Monkey: The War of 1812
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