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Road to Revolution! (The Cartoon Chronicles of America) Paperback – July 21, 2009
Deluxe graphic novels
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Stan Mack has created documentary style comic strips (including Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies, which ran in the Village Voice for 20 years), graphic histories (including The Story of the Jews: A 4,000 Year Adventure), and children's picture books. Mack graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is a former art director of The New York Times Magazine. www.stanmack.com
Susan Champlin is a freelance writer and editor who has written for PBS, PBS Kids, Discovery Communications, and National Geographic Kid, and has been on the staff of some of the biggest magazines in the country, including People and Bon Appétit.
Top Customer Reviews
It does this by introducing two fictional main characters that young readers can identify with, a street orphan named Nick and the daughter of a tavern owner named Penny, who become friends and mini-detectives as they spy on the British and pass info on to the secessionists who wanted independence from Britain.
The comic's panels are drawn with cute illustrations (although graphic at times showing injuries and death on the battle field), and uses simple language for kids to understand. In fact, I think THE ROAD TO... would be helpful for those studying or learning English, too.
An informative prologue is provided in the beginning that lists some of the important events (i.e. Boston Tea Party etc.) that led up to the Revolutionary War, again in very simple, succinct language.
The comic book's story is interesting and weaves the fictional characters into historical facts and people including the battle of Lexington and Concord--known for Paul Revere's famous ride--and the first major battle on Bunker Hill.
An epilogue is included at the end where each chapter is reviewed, separating fact from fiction.
I enjoyed the book but the story ends in 1776. I would have liked to see more adventures with Nick and Penny up to 1781 when the fighting actually stopped. But otherwise it's a fun read and you learn a little about history in the process.
The two historical figures that caught his attention were Dr. Joseph Warren and Dr. Benjamin Church. As a result of my questioning I realized that the book only gave the basic roles of both men. But we used the book as a jumping board and ultimately studied the lives of both men.
When I read the book myself I began to appreciate the way the conflicts & dilemmas facing the Bostonians (and colonists in general) were laid out. The cartoon format really lends itself to doing this in a quick & concise way. Thus the book is not meant to give extreme detail, but basic details that will spark interest in the Revolution & give a foundation upon which to build.
The humor "Road to Revolution" incorporate makes it perfect for boys, but girls will enjoy it also. My son was laughing aloud while reading the book. I didn't find it as humorous, but I am not in the target age group.
Notes to parents and teachers of younger children who may read the book:
* Nick is a pick-pocket and lives a rather rough life and Penny works serving drinks in her dad's tavern. At one point they find themselves in a wine cellar and Nick uncorks a bottle of Madeira and chugs down a bit. Notes in the back of the book explain that the water supply and even milk were not safe to drink, so even children drank alcohol.
*A "Teacher's Guide" is included in the back of the book.
Nick and Penny are swept up by the patriotic furor and get involved in a number of incidents including helping to spy on the British and finding traitors. This is the type of story telling that gets children excited about learning history rather than having to memorize endless facts, dates, and people.
Apart from the modern Americanisms spoken by the characters, the authors of this graphic novel have remained quite true to the times. Kids may think that they are just reading a comic, but they are also learning about the real people and events that occurred just after the Boston Massacre through the Battle of Bunker Hill. The story is effectively told frame by frame and the rendering of colonial Boston is spot on. They have paid close attention to both the subject matter and the surroundings, something that I greatly appreciated.
Anything that can get my kids to read and think about history deserves four stars. On the other hand, the art work and storyline in the Road To Revolution though serviceable, are not as stylized or engaging as other works in this genre. My 9-year-old and 13-year-old agreed to read the novel, but did ask whether this was supposed to be some kind of a text book for social studies. These kinds of books are most effective when the storyline crackles and characters really pop off the page. The Road To Revolution has a less engaging narrative and the art work is done in a traditional comic book format, rather than a more modern and creative graphic novel approach.
And this is not the first time that a graphic novel format has been used for more than just entertainment. ...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This graphic novel is an interesting way to present the story of the founding of our nation. This is an interactive and relatable story for students and is a great story for... Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by J. Underwood
This book format was a good idea. It was interesting and easy to read, and I'm sure children would love it. For these reasons, I think the book is a little dangerous. Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by Chatelaine
It's hard to say if this is a comic book or children's graphic novel. Maybe both terms are the same. Read morePublished on March 15, 2012 by John L. Hoh Jr.
This is a great book for young people, easy to approach, and the cartoon aspect is great for all ages. I am an avid believer in multi media in education. Read morePublished on November 22, 2011 by Amazon Customer
Best book read so far out of about 2 dozen Revolutionary War books for 9-12 year-olds. Please give us more!Published on July 12, 2011 by coffee mama
Road to Revolution is a solid story for a very low price (it's 5 dollars on Amazon right now, just in case the price goes up). Read morePublished on December 15, 2010 by Gagewyn
This illustrated little volume on the beginnings/causes of the revolutionary war is a nice little intro for younger kids. Read morePublished on September 27, 2010 by TinaW
Totally enjoyable, thoroughly informative. Includes a Prologue: "In Which We Learn How We Got Here", an illustrated glossary of characters (including the two fictional main... Read morePublished on March 8, 2010 by Deborah Sandford