Monday, October 19, 2015

Sons of Liberty - Fabulous Book to Teach Kids about our Colonial Heroes

I love to use older books to teach history - the older the book the less history has been rewritten.  The Sons of Liberty, published by Julian Messner in 1969, is one of my family's favorite books that teaches about how our great nation was born.  It's one of those books that the kids will treasure forever. It was written by Felix Sutton of Virginia whose ancestors came to Virginia from England one generation before the Revolutionary War.

Sons of Liberty covers five of the colonial heroes that helped to form the United States - Sam Adams, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere and Joseph Warren.  Joseph Warren?  Yes, Joseph Warren.  He was a doctor in Boston that spied on the British.  I had never heard of him myself until I sat down and read this book with my children.  Rest assured, my children know who he is.

Because this book focuses on just five of the colonial heroes, kids learn a bit more about these fine and brave men.  Here are some facts that aren't usually mentioned in other books on this time period for kids:

Samuel Adams - Most adults thinks of the beer when Sam Adams is mentioned. He lead the men who comprised the Sons of Liberty.  Sam Adams was never a soldier yet he brought about the Revolutionary War more than anyone with his words and thoughts.  He is called "The Great Agitator" because it was he who created all the excitement and made people angry enough to fight for the cause of freedom from Britain. 

John Hancock -  He was the richest merchant in Boston and paid all the bills for the Sons of Liberty.  John Hancock was quite the opposite of Sam Adams, but they had one thing in common - the desire for freedom from Britain.  Did you know there is no inscription on his tomb stone?  Even without that everyone knows who he is with his large signature on the Declaration of Independence, which is clearly his epitaph.

Patrick Henry - He was from Virginia and inspired the colonists with his famous words "Give me liberty, or give me death."  He was a boy who did not like school.  He played hooky all the time until his father finally let him stop going to school.  His father decided to teach him at home and that is where Patrick thrived!  He eventually became an attorney and became a great speech writer. 

Paul Revere - A Boston silversmith, Paul Revere carried secret messages all over the colonies.  He will best be knows for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem . . . "Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere."

Joseph Warren - Warren was a spy from Boston who obtained many of the Redcoat's military plans.  He was one of the first members of the Sons of Liberty and was dedicated to the cause for freedom.  As he was a doctor, he cared for both the British and the colonists.  He would listen in on the conversations of the British military members and pass that information on to the Sons of Liberty - hence his importance to the cause of freedom.  He was the one who gave Revere the messages that Paul had to spread. 

As you can see, the actions of these brave men were pertinent to the United States gaining their independence from Britain.

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