Reviews for Colonial Voices : Hear Them Speak


Booklist Reviews 2008 May #2
*Starred Review* Winters, who so successfully captured the common folk in Voices of Egypt (2005), offers an even more layered and textured group of voices here. It's December 16, 1773, and "Boston is about to explode." The immediacy of the words draws readers in, as Ethan, an errand boy to the printer, sets off with papers to deliver to the patriots in the area. So begins a glorious introduction to the Boston Tea Party, and so much more.  Each handsome two-page spread brings forth another voice from the time as Ethan delivers his message. There's the printer, whose presses tell of British subjugation; the baker and the shoemaker, who are secret patriots; the milliner, who says, "Pay the tax! Count your blessings. I prefer the King to a rabble-rousing mob!" The tavern keeper, the blacksmith's slave, the Native American basket maker, and others also have their say, until the patriots gather at the harbor and "speak out for liberty." Winter's strong, moving text is supported by a thoughtful design that incorporates the look of historical papers, and rich paintings capture the individuals and their circumstances as well as what's at stake. The back matter, offering additional information on the tea party and on each speaker's profession, makes this even more useful. This does for colonial times what the 2008 Newbery Medal book, Good Masters, Sweet Ladies, does for the Middle Ages. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Spare poems in the voices of a variety of colonists respond to the Tea Act of 1773. Culminating with the Boston Tea Party, this collection shares the points of view of patriots, loyalists, and others as they consider how to respond to the tax. Vivid watercolor and ink illustrations enhance each individual's story. Historical notes are appended. Reading list. Glos. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 April #1
Ever wonder what it felt like to be in Boston on December 16, 1773--the day of the infamous Boston Tea Party? At dawn, Ethan, the errand boy, heads out to deliver newspapers containing a notice from the Sons of Liberty about a secret meeting that night at Old South Church. Everywhere Ethan goes, there's a sense of urgency. Everyone has an opinion about the King and his tea tax. En route, Ethan encounters the printer, the shoemaker, the basket trader, the milliner, the midwife, the barber, the blacksmith and his African slave, the clockmaker and the silversmith's apprentice. By nightfall, Ethan arrives at the meeting where patriots opt to turn Boston harbor into a teapot and defy the King. Told from the perspectives of ordinary citizens engaged in ordinary work, the text conveys the diversity and defiance of the times. Engaging ink-and-watercolor illustrations contrast the drama of this historical event with details of everyday life in the streets and shops of colonial Boston. Savory historical fare. (historical notes, glossary, bibliography) (Picture book. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 June

Gr 3-6-- Colonial Bostonians introduce themselves through free-verse vignettes that describe their work and their feelings about the current political situation. As errand boy Ethan moves about the city, he links the people together. From the printer, who distributes the news of a gathering to be held, to the baker, the school mistress, the shoemaker, the milliner, and so on, he covers a territory that ends up at the Old South Meeting House. There, the Sons of Liberty decide to protest the governor's decision regarding some shipments of British tea. Winters's poems flow well, but they employ somewhat complex vocabulary and syntax. A glossary is included to help children with terms such as "fripperies," "journeyman," "limner," "hackle," and "wag-on-the-wall." Historical notes go into more detail about each person's job and compare similar positions in the northern and southern colonies. Both men and women are portrayed; while most characters are white, a Native American woman and a male African slave are also featured. The political sentiments described include Patriots, Loyalists, and some in-between. The watercolor and ink illustrations add humor and drama through shifting perspectives and well-detailed settings full of period details. Ethan appears in each picture, and children will enjoy following his route and sharing his reactions to the varied scenes he observes. A unique presentation for all libraries.--Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

[Page 169]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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