Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story Of the American Revolution

Don Brown, Author
Don Brown. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-266-6
Reviewed on: 11/12/2012
Release date: 01/22/2013
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This recounting of a dramatic wartime episode revisits the era Brown spotlighted in Let It Begin Here! In the winter of 1775, the British army occupied Boston while George Washington and his troops were relegated to the surrounding hills; the general “ached for cannons. With them, he could rain cannonballs on the British soldiers’ heads and drive them from Boston.” An unlikely hero emerges: Henry Knox, a bookseller who travels 300 miles to Fort Ticonderoga to acquire 59 cannons (Knox was also the subject of Anita Silvey and Wendell Minor’s 2010 picture book Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot). Incorporating several quotations from Knox himself, Brown’s immediate account explains how Knox and his stalwart volunteers overcome hurdles on lake and land—including retrieving cannons that crash through the ice—to deliver the artillery to Boston. There, the cannons send 9,000 British soldiers fleeing, leaving behind (in an ironic twist) 250 of their own cannons. Rendered in pale browns and blues, Brown’s art has a gestural quality, emphasizing atmosphere and action over detail and succinctly sketching the proceedings in a way that echoes the fluid text. Ages 5–9. (Jan.)
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