Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eyewitness: American Revolution

Eyewitness: American Revolution

Stuart Murray
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 10 and up
DK, 2002   ISBN: 978-0789485571

The American Revolution was unlike any war that took place before or since. It was an inspiration for many who were seeking freedom from an oppressive foreign power, and also for those who were seeking freedom from the cruel oppression of their own government. In its way the war did a great deal to change the way men thought about government and it was an example to the world of how a small group of people could bring about great change if their believed in their cause strongly enough.

This excellent book describes the political background for the Revolutionary War but it also covers the more intimate and unknown details of the lives of the soldiers who had to fight on the battlefields of America. We learn what it was like to participate in the battles, life on the home front, the medical care that was available to the wounded soldiers, the battles and skirmishes that took place up and down the eastern half of the country, and much more.

Packed with fully annotated with colour photographs of objects from the period, this is a wonderful tool to help a child understand what the Revolutionary War was like and how high the stakes were for both sides. There is something very powerful about being able to see a picture of a musket from the period in question, of a compass used by Ethan Allen, and of a replica tea chest which looks just like the ones that ended up in Boston Harbor. It is in fact rather like going to a museum where one can almost touch the items that were used during the war. These pictures alone do a great deal to bring the war to life, in both its terrors, and in its more human side, a side filled with real people and their stories.