Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: The Redcoats are Coming by Marianne Hering and Nancy Sanders

I was recently sent The Redcoats are Coming by Marianne Hering and Nancy Sanders.  It is book #13 in the Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station series.  Seeing as how the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level for this children's chapter book is 2.5 and I happen to have a second grade son, I decided to have him read it to me and base my review off of that.

The basic concept is Patrick and Beth, two cousins from modern times, go back in time to 1775 in Concord, Massachusetts.  They get to learn much about the time of the American Revolution through carrying out their quest...getting an important letter to Paul Revere.

First of all, as far as reading level goes, my son reads on grade level, if not a little higher, and he struggled more than I expected with reading it.  It wasn't so hard that it was out of reach, but he did need help with many of the words.  As far as holding his interest, I had to force him to get started, but by the end of the first chapter, he was eager to keep going.  There were times that he did seem a little bored, but overall, the book held his attention.

From my perspective as a parent, it was a simple story with just enough historical fact to feel like my son was getting a history lesson as well as reading practice.  The one thing that bothered me was a lot of the religion seemed forced.  There was a whole thing about a Bible that was used in Revolutionary times that seemed clunky and the character of Reverend Clark was a little over the top.  It is a very Christian skewed perception of the events leading up to the Revolution and feeds into the largely misleading notion that the founding fathers, and the heart of the American Revolution, were strongly Christian driven.  While that was a component, it was not the main driving force.  I'm okay with that skewing, but some may not be as comfortable.  Just be advised ahead of time.  

Overall, I recommend this book for grades 2-4 and for both boys and girls.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale house in return for my honest review.

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