Monday, November 7, 2016

Stevenson, Chris. The Drum of Destiny.

Stevenson, Chris.  The Drum of Destiny.  Capstone/Stone Arch      2016  220p  $8.99  ISBN 978-1-4965-2674-8  elem/ms  Historical fiction  VG-BN    

Gabriel is a 12-year-old boy who has lost both parents to the pox and finds himself living in New York City in the home of a prominent loyalist in the 1770s. When his pro-Patriot sympathies become clear to his host family, he is thrown out on the street and must make decisions about his future alone. Gabriel knows only one thing: he views King George as a tyrant and supports the struggle for independence that he has heard so much about. When he finds an old drum washed up on the beaches, he is inspired to go to Boston and become a drummer boy for the Revolution. His adventures in getting there and becoming involved with historical figures like Washington, Benedict Arnold and Nathaniel Greene are well written and involve the reader intimately in an excellent historical slice life.
As the author explains in the afterword, Gabriel is fictional, but there really were boys like him, who found themselves fighting for the Revolution without benefit of parents or guardians. The afterword, glossary, discussion questions and writing prompts round out this historical fiction very nicely. A timeline would be a welcome addition as well.   

Summary: In this historical novel, Gabriel Cooper, an orphan boy of about twelve, becomes enamored of the fight for American independence and makes his way from New York City to Boston, where he joins the revolutionaries.

American Revolution-Fiction               --Carol Kennedy  

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