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The Boston Coffee Party (I Can Read Book 3) Paperback – March 28, 1990

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3 There really was a ``Boston Coffee Party'' during the American Revolution in which women punished a selfish merchant who was hoarding his coffee bean stock during the wartime shortage until the price was high enough for profit. Rappaport tells a story based on this historic detail from the point of view of two young sisters of that time, in words that are easy to read but convey the feelings of the time and the action of the plot. Greedy merchant Thomas has already held back sugar; when they find him doing the same with coffee, the women of the sewing circle plan their ``party'' for revenge. Although their knowledge of history and of the original Boston Tea Party may be vague, young readers and listeners have probably seen and heard enough about the American Revolutionary period and its costumes to enjoy and appreciate the story, which can stand on its own. McCully's competent line drawings with watercolor and charcoal create a sense of time and place while they convey the action through movement and gesture. Sylvia S. Marantz, Wellington School, Columbus, Ohio
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Doreen Rappaport is well known for her groundbreaking approach to multicultural history and literature for young readers. Her many books include Victory or Death: Stories of the American Revolution; We Are The Many: A Picture Book of American Indians; and Martin’s Big Words, winner of the Jane Addams Book Award. She and her husband divide their time between New York City and a rural village in upstate New York.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 340L (What's this?)
  • Series: I Can Read Book 3
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (March 28, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064441415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064441414
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
This books tells a story based on an account from Abigail Adams in a letter to her husband John Adams during the revolutionary period. It is in simple English and an emerging reader could read this.
A greedy store owner in Boston holds back his stores of goods until there are shortages and then raises his prices higher than other merchants' prices. The women in the community are busy sewing shirts for the men who are away fighting as soldiers in the American revolution. The community feeling is that the greedy merchant is being unpatriotic and not pulling with the community, but rather using the tides of war to enrich himself. So the women take action and force him to open his stores of coffee to them, to which they help themselves without payment at all.
I like the book for telling a story that is historical, shows some of the difficulties of war, and portrays women as doers and solvers. I'm somewhat troubled by the actions of the women, which in everyday life would be considered criminal.
This book is recommended as a core curriculum book. It could provide a very good basis for discussion; but I wouldn't want my child reading it without having some thinking talk afterwards.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for elementary school students. Unlike many history books aimed at the K-5 crowd, The Boston Coffee Party tells an exciting story based on real events in language that most 7-10-year-olds can read for themselves.

I used this book (and others in the series -- Sam the Minuteman, George the Drummer) with my 2nd grade class and it was a big hit. I've also presented it to 5th graders along with the primary sources.

Other reviewers have mentioned reservations about the content, but if this book is presented within a larger discussion of the American Revolution, it's fine. The offending merchant is carted through the streets and intimidated, but he isn't tarred and feathered or beaten. I'm not really sure there's an honest way to talk about the American Revolution that doesn't include at least a little bit of potentially upsetting content (battles, treason, mob actions, destruction of property, slavery).

If you are the parent of a budding historian or a teacher with curriculum standards that demand that elementary students know what "No taxation without representation" means, this is a great buy.
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