Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Classics, Historical Fiction
American Revolutionary War, Loyalty, Family Life, Colonial and Revolutionary America
This young adult novel, which successfully captures the pain of the Revolutionary War, is a fine example of historical fiction. The American Revolution was a war that divided families (English loyalists versus eager Patriots) and one of the families being torn apart is the Meeker family. Young Tim sees his 16-year-old brother join the militia to fight the British, while his father tries to remain loyal to the crown. Their hometown of Redding Ridge, Connecticut is a Tory town, and it is a constant struggle for the family to remain neutral. As the war progresses, Tim has to learn some very hard lessons: Life does not always follow the easiest and happiest course.
Readers will be drawn in by compelling characters, and also by the novel's well-crafted historical backdrop. The Collier brothers have written a story that reaches across historical boundaries, and has become a modern-day classic.
James Lincoln Collier's most famous book, My Brother Sam Is Dead, won the Newbery Honor Book Award in 1974.