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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A children's book about our revolutionary war origins, March 13, 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Fiction, April 29, 2003
This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2* An I CAN READ History Book by Benchley and Lobel, February 2, 2005
This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars My son says Sam the Minuteman is cooler than Darth Maul, August 30, 2001
This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars early introduction to American history, October 18, 2001
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This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Baton Rouge Loves Sam the Minuteman, October 5, 2000
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful history for children, November 11, 2002
This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Minuteman, October 11, 2000
By 
Breonne (Baton Rouge, LA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (Paperback)
We read Sam the Minutemen in class and we thought it was a good book.It is a good book because it talks about the Revolutionary War, and we talked about Revolutionary War stuff in class. During the Revolutionary War Sam's friend got shot by the Lobsterbacks. Sam was fighting so he could save his countrymen, and fighting for freeom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Battle of Lexington from a boy's perspective, January 30, 2007
By 
T. J. Johnston (Fremont, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (Paperback)
When young Sam grabs his gun to enter The Battle of Lexington alongside his father, young readers won't help but wonder: What's going to happen to him? This central, suspenseful question is just one of the mature thematic elements encountered in Sam the Minuteman, a lean, accurate, and surprisingly contemplative historical narrative of the American Revolution's opening days. Benchley slips in key events and characters (the anonymous first shot, British Redcoats, Captain Parker, guerilla warfare) that may encourage young history enthusiasts to uncover the other stories behind Sam. Most provocatively, Benchley takes Sam on a hell-bent ("I'll shoot [the British soldiers]--every one!") revenge quest against his protective mother's pleas. This sub-plot alone may spark deep dialogue usually encountered in higher-level books.

Lobel, of Frog and Toad lore, illustrates with a smoky yet highly detailed pencil, and inks in a sparse amount of red and shades of ocher. His limited media and autumn palette connote the era's harsh agrarian lifestyle, and the stark "do-or-die" mentality of the colonists. Benchley douses his prose with rich poetic metaphors, describing the warring British troops as "a bright river of red," and deadly bullets that "buzzed about like bees."

The ending is abrupt, but Benchley's intention is to extend the conversation beyond the book's pages; quite likely to George the Drummer Boy, the companion piece to this book written from a British boy's perspective during the revolution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam The Minuteman, October 9, 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (THOMASVILLE N.C.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (Paperback)
My eight-year old son has been reading Sam The Minuteman for several years. He loves the book so much. Although the reading doesn't challenge him anymore, he continues to check it out at our Public Library time and time again. I am glad that he has chosen a good wholesome book as one of his favorites. I have gotten this copy for him as a Christmas Gift. Hopefully, he will continue to enjoy it and pass it on to his children. Good reading material is getting increasingly more difficult to find for 4-6 graders.
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Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3)
Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) by Nathaniel Benchley (Paperback - February 20, 1987)
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