By the Sword

Finished By the Sword by Selene Castrovilla.  I received a copy for review from the author.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Meet Benjamin Tallmadge, a young teacher in the midst of Revolutionary America. Spurred by the cry for freedom and the blood spilled at Lexington and Concord, Benjamin sacrifices his career and his dreams to enlist in George Washington’s army. Readers follow Benjamin and his beloved horse, Highlander, into fiery combat at the Battle of Long Island. Benjamin grapples with the realities of being a soldier – the blasts of cannons, the smell of gunpowder, the relentlessness of the enemy. Will he and the rest of the battered Americans escape from Brooklyn unhurt? Selene Castrovilla has woven Benjamin Tallmadge’s own account with additional details from primary-source documents and extensive research to deliver this thrilling narrative of one of history’s most harrowing moments.

This is easily my favorite of Selene Castrovilla’s three Revolutionary War picture books.  First, I’m a huge fan of the illustrations.  This book is absolutely gorgeous, and the pictures pop off the page.  (Not literally; it’s not a pop-up book.  But they are beautiful and colorful.)

And it probably has something to do with the fact that, while there’s a definite focus on the war, there’s also the fact that it’s about a boy and his horse.  (Spoiler for those concerned about animal cruelty: the horse survives the book and is fine.)

I had never heard of Benjamin Tallmadge before and now I want to read more about him.  I trust anyone who would go back to rescue their horse.

These books are just fun and interesting.  I’m very grateful I got the chance to read them.



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