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The Boston Tea Party Paperback – September 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Freedman tackles the Boston Tea Party with his characteristic energy and rigor and provides a gripping account of the nation-defining episode. He starts with a lucid, two-page introduction offering historical context-not stopping to get bogged down in the details of the Stamp Tax and its ilk-before he vaults into his story with a promising opening that mixes fact and suspense. From that page forward, he weaves together meticulously sourced quotations and information with engaging personal details to effectively enliven the tense, silent act of rebellion. Along with the usual heroes of the Revolution-Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, etc.-Freedman presents the actions of young men such as a rope-maker's apprentice who snuck out a window to join the mob and the mason-in-training who detoured to the protest on his way to a date. These charming and enlightening particulars, including many direct quotes, lend immediacy and emotional weight to the account, told in an effective but surprisingly casual tone. Freedman's absorbing and informative story is somewhat underserved by Malone's illustrations. A rich, earthy palette and period details, even with an occasional spark of humor, can't quite overcome the static feeling of the pictures, which resemble watercolor renditions of an American history diorama with their stiff-armed figures and blank faces. Fortunately, Freedman's text proves lively enough for both. Back matter includes a note on the importance of tea in colonial American life.-Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* After two introductory pages succinctly explain the historical background of the Boston Tea Party, including the protesting colonists’ view of taxation without representation and the tea tax in particular, the curtain rises on Boston in 1773. The arrival of the Dartmouth, a merchant ship carrying tea, sparks an emergency town meeting of colonists, who vow that the tea will not be brought ashore. Governor Hutchinson insists that the tea must be unloaded and tax paid. As the deadline approaches and negotiations fail, a number of citizens disguise themselves as Mohawk Indians, board the ship, and dump the tea into the harbor. Quotes from participants and observers (several colonists, a mate aboard the Dartmouth, and Admiral Montagu) bring a sense of immediacy to the clearly written narrative. Lively vignettes include the story of Peter Slater, a 14-year-old apprentice locked in his upstairs bedroom that night for his own safety. Sliding down a rope made from his bedding, he blackened his face, boarded the ship, and recognized his employer among the “Indians.” Malone’s distinctive watercolor paintings dramatize events in a series of beautifully composed tableaux, notable for their dramatic low-light effects and subtle shading. Informative and well documented, this handsome picture book offers a memorable account of the Boston Tea Party. Grades 2-5. --Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.