Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution
Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution
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Annotation: Through words and vivid artwork, tells the story of bookseller Henry Knox, who in 1775 dragged 59 cannons the 225 wilderness miles from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston, to aid his fellow Revolutionary War patriots.
Catalog Number: #5380777
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-596-43266-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-596-43266-6
Dewey: 973.3
LCCN: 2012013450
Dimensions: 23 x 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
In this followup to Let It Begin Here!, stylized watercolors heighten the drama and occasional humor of Henry Knox's mission to bring heavy cannon from Lake Champlain forts to Washington's forces in 1776 Boston. The text hews closely to the record--except for one fact: Brown states, "Washington ached for cannon...But Washington had none," an unfortunate exaggeration of an otherwise "true story." Bib.
Kirkus Reviews
Brown brings to life a complex undertaking that had important repercussions, though his early-elementary audience may not be quite ready for it. The book's trajectory is clearly laid out: A simple map traces an almost-300-mile path through the wilderness from Fort Ticonderoga in New York to Boston. The first line draws readers firmly into the past--"It was the winter of 1775"--and defines the problem: British soldiers occupy Boston, and the Americans have no way to dislodge them. Despite the seeming impossibility of transporting heavy cannons over snowy roads, across icy lakes and through forbidding forests, young Henry Knox, a bookseller and militia member, volunteered to get the job done. As he has in other informational picture books, Brown uses a variety of page layouts, including some sequential panels, to convey the action. Cool blues and icy whites evoke the wintry landscape; figures and faces are loosely drawn but ably express emotion and determination. Likewise, the brief text employs lyrical language to both get the basic facts across and communicate the feelings and experiences of Henry and his band of hardy helpers. Children intrigued by Brown's succinct summary will want to follow up with Anita Silvey's Henry Knox: Bookseller, Solider, Patriot, illustrated by Wendell Minor (2010). Despite the book's clarity, many young listeners still may not understand the enormity of the enterprise or its importance in U.S. history (bibliography) (Picture book. 6-8)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 1&11;4&12; As the American Revolution was getting underway, George Washington knew he needed cannons to defeat the British. Unfortunately, he was camped outside British-held Boston, and the nearest big guns were 300 miles away at Fort Ticonderoga, New York. They were thought to be impossible to retrieve, until Henry Knox agreed to try. Brown employs a light touch in telling this exciting true story. Moving 120,000 pounds of artillery in winter involved dragging the pieces, sailing, sledding, and even retrieving them from freezing water when the ice broke under their weight. Readers will be fascinated by the various methods employed to keep the cannons moving, including poles, ropes, and chains to help the sleds scale steep heights. Amazingly, Knox and his group arrived without losing a single piece of weaponry. Quotations integrated into the text are not directly attributed, but a bibliography is included. Watercolor illustrations are given weight by black outlines. A palette of blues, whites, and browns reinforces the winter tone. Full spreads interspersed with panels vary the pace and allow for certain images to be spotlighted. A nicely composed three-panel page shows the changing weather (clear to rain to snow) as Knox begins his quest. This entertaining tale will be great to use along with studies of George Washington and the Revolutionary War.&12; Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This handsome picture book tells of a daring engineering feat during the American Revolution. The story opens in the winter of 1775, when the British occupied Boston. Determined, patriotic, and well read in military affairs, a plump local bookseller named Henry Knox convinced General Washington that he could retrieve the cannons captured at Fort Ticonderoga, some 300 miles away. Using ropes, chains, boats, and sleds drawn by oxen and horses, Knox and his men hauled 59 cannons across icy waters and over rugged, snow-covered terrain. Nearly three months after Knox began his mission, Washington's troops moved the cannons into strategic positions on hills overlooking Boston, and the British fled. Using relatively short sentences and words, Brown tells the story simply but effectively. He makes good use of narrative panels in the illustrations, which feature a muted, wintry palette and strong, energetic black lines. While Anita Silvey and Wendell Minor's excellent Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot (2010) covers the same topic, Brown's picture book makes it accessible to a somewhat younger audience. A fine introduction to a lesser-known hero of the American Revolution.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 824
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 156521 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q59991
Lexile: AD820L

Before Washington crossed the Delaware, Henry Knox crossed Massachusetts in winter--with 59 cannons in tow. In 1775 in the dead of winter, a bookseller named Henry Knox dragged 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston--225 miles of lakes, forest, mountains, and few roads. It was a feat of remarkable ingenuity and determination and one of the most remarkable stories of the revolutionary war. In Henry and the Cannons the perils and adventure of his journey come to life through Don Brown's vivid and evocative artwork.


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