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Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) Paperback – February 20, 1987


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Frequently Bought Together

Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) + The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set (I Can Read Book 2) + Owl at Home (I Can Read Book 2)
Price for all three: $14.58

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 410L (What's this?)
  • Series: I Can Read Book 3
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (February 20, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064441075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064441070
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sam's family lives on a farm in Lexington, Mass.; one night his father wakes him up and tells him to get his gun, because the British are coming. "Benchley's expressive words and Lobel's vivid drawings portray a realistic story," PW wrote.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Nathaniel Benchley was the author of several different types of books, as well as plays, movies and magazine articles.

He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College, majoring in English. Shortly after graduation, he married Marjorie Bradford, and they settled down in New York City, where he worked for several newspapers and magazines. In 1941, before the attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the U. S. Navy and was later trained to command small PT attack boats. He served in the Navy in the North and South Atlantic theaters and was on his way to the Pacific campaign when the war ended in 1945. He returned to New York and joined his wife and five year-old son, Peter. The next year, they had another son, Nathaniel Robert.

Nathaniel Benchley worked as a freelance writer –and painter- for the next 36 years. He wrote novels, plays, short stories, reviews, movie scripts and a very popular biography of the actor Humphrey Bogart. Much of his material was drawn from his life in New York and Nantucket, MA, where the family had a summer home. He found the small town life in Nantucket was rich in characters and material for adventures. He wrote a book titled The Off-Islanders, which was later made into a successful movie called "The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!" It was the story of a Russian submarine run aground on a small New England island. Several of his other books were also made into movies.

His sideline as a painter of landscapes led to his participation in many gallery showings.

Mr. Benchley used his fascination with history to create a series of books for beginning and teen readers. His particular interest was in taking a moment in history and examining it through the eyes of a young boy. He told stories about the Vikings coming to what would later be called "America;" Native American Indians dealing with the new settlers in their land ("Small Wolf"); young boys in Colonial America ("Sam the Minuteman" and "George the Drummer Boy") and the movement west; and a young boy who joins the Navy during World War II.

He also wrote a series of books for very beginning readers, many of which were about animals and their special bonds with humans ("Red Fox and His Canoe," "Oscar Otter").

He was always proudest of the letters he got from young readers who had identified with one of his characters and wanted to ask questions raised by their reading. He personally answered every letter he got from his readers.

In 1974, his son, Peter, published his first novel, Jaws, based on his experiences fishing off Nantucket in his youth (and a healthy imagination).

For the last many years of his life, Nathaniel Benchley lived in Nantucket with his wife.

Nathaniel Benchley lived by the motto: "A craftsman is one who does what he is given to do better than others feel is necessary."He died in Boston, MA, in 1981.



Arnold Lobel (1933-1987) was the award-winning author and illustrator of many beloved children's books, including the classic I Can Read books about Frog and Toad, and the Caldecott Medal winning Fables.


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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So obviously, I believe this is a good book for kids!
Terry L
My uncle bought the is for me back at the bicentennial, great present on July 4th, 1976.
Wreckinball
It is easy reading for a young child, and the lesson of the story is so important.
Eric Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 1999
Format: Library Binding
Although the reading level with this title says "baby-preschool," this book is really better suited for slightly older children (4-8)--although our 3-year old loves this one as a bedtime story! The story follows a boy (Sam) and his father in rural Massachussetts the day the British marched on Lexington and Concord. Sam and his father take up their arms and join the other Minutemen to resist the British incursion. For Sam it is long and tiring day. The story is a quick read with well-drawn pictures. I was quite happy to find this title. It was one of my favorites when I was a child and I credit it with starting for me a life-long love of history, especially American history. I'm hoping it might do the same for our child as well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Levandowski on April 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
My kids loved this book. This book can be read by any reading level, because of its historical perspective. It appears to most adequately suit 1st graders. With my older children I used it as a tool, along with George the Drummer Boy, to teach perspective in writing and history. These two books in combination do an excellent job. Sam the Minuteman is told from the perspective of an American boy. George the Drummer Boy is told from a British boy's perspective. This book has 61 pages, about 1/4 of the pages are full page illustrations. Both books portray the same event in history - the beginning of the American Revolution.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
In plain language, and with just a bit of humor, prolific author Nathaniel Benchley (son of the great humorist Robert) and the equally experienced Arnold Lobel tell the story of the beginnings of the American Revolution, as seen through the eyes of a young boy. On the night of Paul Revere's famous ride, Sam accompanies his father to the village green. The pensive faces of the Minutemen and the monochrome and two-toned drawings of Lobel build tension as they await the possible arrival of the British. Finally, they hear the "TRAMP TRAMP TRAMP" of the British soldiers-the "lobsterbacks": "Over the hill and past the tavern came the soldiers! They came on and on and on." At close range, the British kill eight men (they're shown lying on the ground), and wound Sam's friend John in the leg. "'Sam!' John cried. `I'm hit.' John held his leg and fell down."

Soon after, the British attack again. Sam joins his father, despite his mother's loud protest. This time the Minutemen shoot back from behind trees and rocks. Benchley's dramatic narrative continues: "No one knew it then, but that day was the start of the American Revolution." Lobel shows the Minutemen's strain, the families' agony, and the fatigue of Sam and others.

Although a simply told story intended for young readers, Benchley and Lobel convey some of the key elements that went into the eventual American victory. Perhaps a little violent for the younger audiences, this is a realistic story with the look and feeling of an archetypal children's book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Stoughton on August 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Sam the Minuteman" sparked my son's interest so much that the entire family is now infected with Revolution fever. As a direct result of reading the book, we've trekked to Lexington to see the actual places where the book's events take place, and from there to Boston, where the events in the companion book "George the Drummer Boy" took place. The revolution is spreading to the neighborhood as well, where my son is trying to convince his friends that Sam is cooler than Darth Maul
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 18, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This early reader features Sam, a boy who joins his father as a Minuteman, and takes place in Concord and Lexington on the day the American Revolution begins. At 62 pages, with simple vocabulary, this book does a nice job of capturing the uncertainty and excitement of these events for a young person, and would be a good selection for a young reader interested in history. The companion volume by the same author, 'George the Drummer Boy', tells the story of a boy on the side of the loyalists on the same day. Simple but nice illustrations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
It is a good book because it tells about the Revolutionary War. We learned things about a long time ago. The sad part is when John was shot. He said, "I'm shot!" and they took him home and put bandages on him. He was afraid. He was fighting for freedom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Terry L on November 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have a 5-year-old son named Sam. I read him this book for many days--day after day after day. He even slept with the book. So obviously, I believe this is a good book for kids! I had to give it a high rating--he never slept with any other book. The book, I believe, is rated at about a 3rd grade reading level. It involves guns and redcoats and things that interest young folks.
Anyway, the book is about the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Sam's father takes him along when the British come to Lexington. At the battle, one of Sam's friends gets shot in the leg, so children know that war is not all fun and games, and carrying a gun involves responsibility. The author also says things like the British soldiers burned some houses, but "their heart wasn't in it." This leads to good questions about why that was so. The author follows the British as they make a run for it as the "farmers" shoot at them the whole way back. And when Sam gets home, his worry is about his friend who was shot. Nifty drawings, good length, history--this is a very good book for the age group.
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