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Revolutionary Dames

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 12:53pm by potterbee

Independent Dames by Laurie Halse Anderson incorporates the stories over 80 women who contributed to the success of the American Revolutionary war. A great read this time of year while the country gathers to celebrate our hard won independence! With a timeline running along the bottom of the pages, young readers can learn of some important events beginning in 1765 up through 1791 with the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

At the age of 16, Sybil Ludington rode 40 miles to spread the word of an eminent British attack which prepared over 400 militia men. Phillis Wheatley came to be known as one of the most famous poets of the Revolution Abigail Adams is a very notable woman as wife to President Adams. Click on the highlighted names which link to the catalog for materials to explore these women's stories.

Women were often left to guard the villages and farms and defend themselves against British troops demanding food and supplies. Some women wanted to fight and joined up with the militia but had to be in disguise as a man, it was illegal for women to join the army. Deborah Sampson was arrested upon her first attempt to enlist, so she fled her town and joined up with the militia later. She fought in many battles and was wounded twice! Her story is written about in the novel Revolutionary by Alex Myers.

There are many historical fiction books based in the time of the revolution. Another gem by Laurie Halse Anderson is Chains, set in New York City at the beginning of the American Revolution. Thirteen year old Isabel tells the story of her life as a slave, her hopes of finding a way to freedom and how she becomes a spy for the rebels. In Patriot hearts, Barbara Hambly presents the lives of four founding mothers: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Sally Hemings, and Dolley Madison over the years of 1787 to 1814.

A couple other books for young readers to check out are Great women of the American Revolution and True stories of the Revolutionary War

Finally, a non-fiction book for older readers to enjoy is Revolutionary mothers by Carol Berkin which moves beyond the better known women of that time and serves as an overview of the remarkable contributions made by a cultural cross section of women during the course of the American Revolution.

Comments

I think it is important to note the minorities that are typically forgotten in history. This would be an excellent book to incorporate in a teaching unit.

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