Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Eve of Revolution: The Colonial adventures of Benjamin Wilcox

The Eve of Revolution: The Colonial adventures of Benjamin Wilcox

Barbara Burt
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
National Geographic, 2003   ISBN: 978-0792252115

Benjamin is recovering from scarlet fever in Waterboro, Maine, and here, in this rural setting he discovers that the local people are resentful of the taxes that the British government is imposing upon them. It would seem that the people here are just as eager to complain about the taxes as are the people who live in his hometown of Boston. Benjamin's aunt and uncle both have to do what they can to manage without the English items that are taxed.

More than anything Benjamin wants to go to sea with his father. His father would be glad to have his son join him on his next voyage but as things are so unsettled in Boston his father wants to wait a while to see what happens next. One things is for sure, and that is that the colonists, or ?Americans? as they are calling themselves, are eager to buy American goods now, often boycotting those sent from England. In so doing they are able to show their disapproval of Britain?s policies towards the colonies.

Back in Boston Benjamin sees many signs of unrest on the streets and even on Boston Common. He observes similar signs in Philadelphia after he sails there on his father's ship. What is going to happen in this country that he loves so much? Is war inevitable?

In this engaging book the author combines historical fact with fictional letters and journal entries written by Benjamin and his family. History comes to life through the boys words and in the background the reader can read about the real events which shook colonial America in the late 1760's. Seeing events unfold through Benjamin?s eyes makes it possible for young readers to experience these turbulent times for themselves.