J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Getting on the Road to Revolution!

Publishers Weekly brings word of a new comics treatment of the American Revolution, from the team of Stan Mack and Susan Champlin. It’s part of a series on American history for kids aged 10 to 14 which Bloomsbury will start to publish this August, just before the new school year.

The magazine states:

Like the other books that will follow in the series, Road to Revolution! is set during a tumultuous social period in American history and readers can follow the adventures of a young boy and girl who team-up when they find themselves in midst of important and exciting historical events.

Set in Boston in 1775, Road to Revolution! focuses on the adventures of Nick, a fun-loving orphan boy and petty street-thief, and Penny, the spunky and headstrong daughter of a Boston Inn keeper that serves the British soldiers by day and plots against them at night.
Fifteen years ago, Mack created Stan Mack’s Real Life American Revolution for adults, looking at the same political movement with ironic detachment and political convictions. I’m interested in seeing how his and Champlin’s interest in history plays out in this story for today’s students. The notion of a “spunky” girl and a “fun-loving orphan boy” teaming up seems designed to please our modern tastes and values.

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