cover image George Washington's Socks

George Washington's Socks

Elvira Woodruff. Scholastic, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-44035-6

An overnight campout turns into a harrowing trip to colonial America in this action-packed novel. When 10-year-old Matthew, his younger sister Katie and their band of friends enter a mysterious rowboat with magical powers, they wind up crossing the Delaware River with George Washington in 1776. The confused children are befriended by bedraggled patriot soldiers and captured by Hessians and Indians before completing the icy but victorious march on Trenton. Woodruff has assembled a likable though stock cast of characters (small, smart and strong are all represented) to keep pace with her quick-moving story. The harsh conditions and brutal implications of the historic battle interspersed with snappy dialogue and 20th-century humor proves an appealing mix, though older readers may find the anti- war message a bit heavy-handed. Young history buffs and adventure seekers alike will enjoy this journey to the past. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)