Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold

Selene Castrovilla, illus. by John O’Brien. Calkins Creek, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-62979-341-2
O’Brien joins Castrovilla for this companion to Revolutionary Friends, which focused on George Washington and Lafayette. This time, she explores the relationship between a less reputable Revolutionary duo: British major John André and West Point commander Benedict Arnold, who conspired to surrender the fort to the British. The third-person narration switches between the men, frequently imagining their thoughts and nervousness (“John forced himself to think past all this danger and suspense—to the taking of West Point!”), as well as their anger and hopelessness as their plan failed. As in his books about Jefferson and Franklin, O’Brien’s squirrely ink lines and watercolor washes bring a certain playfulness to the 18th-century setting, despite the dire subject and high stakes. A grim account of two men done in by quests for personal glory. Ages 9–11. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/07/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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