Thursday, July 21, 2011

Will Northaway and the Gathering Storm

Six years ago, Will Northaway was a poor street urchin living in London. Then, working onboard to pay his passage, Will sailed to America. Once in Boston, he worked as a printer for two different masters.

Now, in Will Northaway and the Gathering Storm, the fourth book in the Young American Patriots series by Susan Olasky, Will has a new job. He is a farmhand living outside of Boston… and outside of all the political maneuverings of the town.

Though grateful for his new employment, Will misses the action in Boston. So when Will travels with the farm family to the Boston Market, he eagerly rekindles old friendships and catches up on the latest news about the tension between the Tories and the Patriots. He also discovers that one friend, Tommy, has been snatched off the streets in England and pressed into service.

Tommy shares his no-win situation with Will. Though Tommy wears the lobster- red coat of England, his sympathies lie with the Patriots. However, if he leaves his post, he will be flogged (or worse) for deserting. Together the two boys hatch up a feasible plan of escape, only to have it ruined when the Boston Massacre causes Tommy to flee. Uncertain about what the future holds, Will leaves the farm and sails from Boston Harbor with Tommy.

What I Like: I generally dislike historical fiction, so it speaks volumes when I say that I thought the story was an interesting read. I also think this book might lend itself well as supplemental or enrichment material for home school curriculum on pre-Revolutionary War and/or Colonial times.

What I Dislike: This is not a dislike, just a note. (And this observation certainly does not detract from the story’s value as an educational tool.) While there are some gentle references to Bible reading and prayer, faith does not seem to be as central to the story as in the previous book installments. However, the farmer (Mr. Teasdale) serves as a good faith model.

Another note: I read the book as a stand-alone. I believe readers would enjoy this fourth book more if they read the books in the series sequentially.

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: 9-12

Publisher Info: Crossway Books, 2005; ISBN:978-1581344783 ; FORMAT, 96 PGS., $5.99

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OR Buy the kindle version for $3.19.

Special info: Read CCBR reviews of the first three books in this series.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I like your website. Keep up the good work of bringing Jesus to the young ones. God bless you and your bookstore! Carline