Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our America... The King Philip's War Adventure - A Book Review

Many moons ago, I had the opportunity to review a book by Susan Kilbride called Our America... Pilgrim Adventure. At that time she had also sent me another book, titled Our America... The King Philip's War Adventure. My son and I read through the book long ago, but life got busy and I failed to post the review.

So I have reviewed my copy of the book to refresh my memory, and I am finally posting the review so that you can all know about the book.

Our America... The King Philip's War Adventure is the continuation of the story of Finn and Ginny, whose mother and father disappeared (before the beginning of Our America... Pilgrim Adventure) through the use of a time travel device that resembles a television remote.

In The King Philip's War Adventure, Finn and Ginny once more endeavor to travel through time, with the hope that the device will take them to the time and place that it took their parents to so many months before. Again they hold hands, and Finn prepares to push the button on the device, but a bounding dog, and a grip that slips... Finn's finger goes down on the button, but he feels Ginny's grip slipping, and it is too late. When Finn arrives at the new time and place, Ginny is not with him! Ginny, meanwhile, arrives at the same "time", but in a different place.

As the story develops, the narrative is told at initially from Finn's perspective, and at other times from Ginny's, and then the story hops back and forth from one to the other and back again. So the first thing they each discover, in addition to the fact that they are no longer together, is that they have landed in the time period of the  little-known King Philip's War. Finn would like to immediately begin searching for Ginny, but finds he has landed, cold and wet, outside, but close to some marching soldiers, with his Uncle Webster quickly spotting him and taking him to "safety". The number on the time machine tells him he has 148 days to find Ginny! Finn barely reaches the headquarters of General Winslow when shots ring out and a battle begins! Finn survives, and thus begins a tale of his efforts to find Ginny in the midst of a time of war.

Ginny, meanwhile, landed with distant relatives and immediately begins efforts to learn how to fit into the time-period she has landed in (1675). Not having the remote, she doesn't know how long she has before Finn will be whisked back to normal time. Having no idea where Finn is, she decides it will be best to stay put until Finn can find her. She experiences the cold of attending a church that is unheated, and the welcome of the warm heat of Aunt Hannah and Uncle Jonathan's home. She learns that the current war with King Philip was provoked by the greed of the Colonists for land pitted against the greed of the Indians for goods (Uncle Jonathan's perspective).

Spending the night at the Rowlandsons, Ginny gets taken prisoner, along with Mary Rowlandson and her son and daughter. Long, long cold march with little food, and the prisoners find themselves in conditions where they see no chance of escaping on their own. They are separated as slaves, mistreated and underfed, and must exert all their energy merely to scrounge food to survive.

Meanwhile, Finn continues to hear rumors of prisoners taken and efforts to redeem them. He take every opportunity he can to try to get closer to potential reuniting with his sister.

I found this book enjoyable and fast paced, with short, manageable chapters. The target audience for this book is ages 10 and up. My 13-year-old son listened willingly as I read aloud. The story is 134 pages, which is followed by helpful pages of actual time-line events.

I highly recommend the Our America series for engaging your younger students, enabling them to experience lesser-known aspects of our country's history from a 3rd person-perspective narrative. Try one and see how they like it. Susan Kilbride is doing an excellent job of researching obscure aspects of history and putting flesh onto them, creating a story children can learn from painlessly while they follow the exciting adventures of Finn and Ginny.

Our America... The King Philip's War Adventure is the second title of the "Our America" series and is available in paperback currently for $7.17 or in Kindle version for $4.95. But if you can put this down on your calendar -- . You can also get Activity Pages to go with The King Philip's War Adventure!

Follow the adventures of Finn and Ginny as they experience our country's past while trying to locate their parents who are lost somewhere in history. Begin the "Our America" series by reading The Pilgrim Adventure - the Kindle version will be on sale for $2.99 on August 4, 5, & 6. Then you can read The King Philip's War Adventure. I am going to read The Salem Adventure next, so be watching for that review in a month or two.

I received a free copy of Our America... The King Philip's War Adventure in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation, and was not required to write a positive review. Please feel free to leave me comments or questions below.

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