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Saving the Liberty Bell Hardcover – June 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blending bits of history and long-accepted lore into a snappy story, McDonald (Is This a House for a Hermit Crab?; the Judy Moody series) entertains readers with her imagining of the Liberty Bell's whereabouts during the American Revolution. Young John Jacob Mickley is ready to burst with excitement as he regales his younger siblings with a tale of the fateful trip he took to Philadelphia with their father. As Mickley père and fils arrived in the city of brotherly love, warning came of the encroachment of British Redcoats led by General Howe. The rush was on to hide any sources of metal—including all the church bells in town and "the Great Bell" atop the State House (later known as the Liberty Bell). The 11-year-old and his dad, along with their wagon and horses, were pressed into duty, surreptitiously spiriting away the 2,000-plus-pound bell to a hiding place in their hometown of Northampton. McDonald's vivacious text brims with details, while keeping a brisk pace. A historical note fills in additional elements. With a keen eye, Carrington (Jake Johnson: The Story of a Mule) captures the bucolic countryside as well as prim city townhouses of 18th-century Philadelphia in her acrylic paintings. Her energetic portraits of a fretful John Jacob and his father carting the cleverly (and colorfully) concealed bell let youngsters in on the secret while also keeping them on the edge of their seats. Ages 5-8. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-John Jacob Mickley, 11, tells his siblings about his role in hiding the Liberty Bell from the British. He describes how he and his father travel to Philadelphia to sell their farm goods. The Great Bell is ringing out its warning from the State House that the Redcoats are on their way, and everyone knows they will be looking for metal to turn into weapons. Colonel Benjamin Flower approaches the Mickleys and asks them to help spirit the Great Bell away for safekeeping. The father-son team must hide it under stinky stable straw, potato sacks, and even a woman's hoop skirt. John is certain they will run into Redcoats during the journey. And, on the third night, soldiers do find them. Fortunately, they are from General Washington's army, and they escort the wagon toward safety. A mere four miles from home, the wagon breaks down, but, with help from the locals, the bell is moved to safety and hidden beneath the floorboards of the Zion Reformed Church in present-day Allentown, PA. McDonald has nicely personalized an event from American history and presented it in a form reminiscent of tall tales. Carrington's acrylic paintings complement the tone of the text with their humorous, cartoonlike style. An author's note sorts out fact from fiction. A fun way to introduce the Revolutionary War.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689851677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689851674
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ME

10. The first book I ever wrote was about a hermit crab, inspired by a pet I once owned.

9. My favorite color is purple.

8. I love to read mysteries. When I was Judy's age, I read all 56 classic Nancy Drew books . . . in order! Jeepers!

7. I used to collect scabs so I could examine them under the microscope that I got for my 8th birthday.

6. My four sisters and I often made up our own language, which included the words "Hoidi Boidi", "oogey", "retzel crummypuss" and "poony-poony".

5. My favorite TV show is JEOPARDY!

4. To research my Sisters Club book, THE RULE OF THREE, I toured San Francisco in search of the ultimate cupcake. The winner: Sleepless in San Francisco. Think chocolate + coffee.

3. When I was a kid, I fell down a hill from chasing the ice-cream truck and had to get stitches.

2. When I was a librarian, I used to tell stories in sign language. That's how I got the expression "same-same" for Judy.

1. I share a birthday (February 28) with a famous princess, race car driver and gangster, a Rolling Stone, a French tightrope walker, and a winning racehorse named Smarty Jones.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Brooke on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book. I love the storyline. I love that the storyline is true to history. When you look at the back of the book there is an explanation of how the characters in the book fit into the storyline of the historical perspective.

I've used this book for lesson plans in a third grade classroom. It works really well and the students love learning history and hearing a story at the same time. Best book I've seen for the Liberty Bell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maria on June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have the hardcover version. I like the big print and the large illustrations. The narration was simple and it captured my six years old son's attention. A good read for bedtime story.
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I was especially interested in Saving the Liberty Bell, as my maiden name is Blumer and the Rev. Abraham Blumer, my forefather & pastor of the Zion Reform Church in Allentown PA was the minister who hid the bell in his church. I bought several of the books, one for my granddaughter in North Carolina to donate to her elementary school library (she got some press recognition for donating the book) and other copies for my grandchildren here in Nebraska. I was especially pleased to see that the Rev. Abraham Blumer's name appeared in the book, to tie it to my family.

Thank you,
Helen Annette Moeller
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Saving the Liberty Bell is a well written and illustrated story through the eyes of a boy who was actually involved in the event. The "State House Bell," later called the "Liberty Bell" was smuggled out of Philadelphia during the British siege and hidden under the floor of Zion Reformed Church (now Zion United Church of Christ) in what is now Allentown, Pennsylvania. I have used the story for a children's time during Sunday worship. Very appropriate for Independence Sunday.

Rev. Dr. David Beebe
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This book does a great job of re-telling a little know, but great story, of the efforts by average Americans to save the bells from the approaching British army. This is a children's book and should be viewed as such. While the bell had yet to be called the Liberty Bell, it is a great little easy read story for kids.
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