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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Prison-Ship Adventure of James Forten, Revolutionary War Captive - Marty Rhodes Figley



Released January 2011

Marty Rhodes Figley

Lerner Books

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

The Prison-Ship Adventure of James Forten, Revolutionary War Captive is a short graphic novel based on the life of James Forten. As a teen, Forten never saw life as a slave. Things threatened to change when the men on his ship were caught by the British during the Revolutionary War.

The reader learns more about James Forten and the events surrounding his capture during the war. As a graphic novel, the book is perfectly suited for advancing readers who still enjoy pictures. I do caution that at just 30 pages, if your child's school has a required number of books per school year, this book will unlikely count towards those reading goals. I know in my children's school, books must be at least 80 pages by 3rd grade in order for them to count.

I did find the story fascinating and think it will help spark a child's interest in history. This is one of a collection of History's Kid Heroes graphic novels so children who do show interest will have quite a selection from which they can choose. At the end of the book is a page of suggested resources for children who want to learn more.

Amazon suggests the target ages for this book as 9 to 12, I'm actually thinking based on kids I know who are that age, that this is better for the 8 to 10 group. By the time my kids and their friends were 12 (that's 6th/7th grade in most areas), they would have found this book to be far too short, especially if they wanted the book to count towards their required yearly reading for school.

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