Sam the Minuteman and George the Drummer Boy Book Review
In a few short weeks, the Fourth of July will be here. Sam the Minuteman and George the Drummer Boy are great ways to introduce children to opposing sides of the Revolutionary War. Both books are Level 3 books of the An I Can Read Book series. This means that it is suitable for children in grades 2-4 to read. It might be a challenge for 2nd graders while most 4th graders will find themselves comfortable at this reading level.
Sam the Minuteman is the story of Sam, a boy who had to be ready to fight in the war at a minute’s notice. The book starts off with background information such as the life Sam’s family lead before the Revolutionary War, England owning the colonies, what the colonists were upset about, and why they were willing to start a war.
Sam and his father prepare to fight after Paul Revere’s ride. He also sees his friend, John. They nervously wait for the British soldiers. There is a deafening “Tramp, Tramp, TRAMP, TRAMP” sound approaching. The time they have been waiting for has arrived. What will happen?
First, a British soldier tells the minutemen to disperse. Then, John is shot in the leg and 8 minutemen are dead. After his battle experience, Sam’s mom doesn’t want him to leave the house. Sam joins the minutemen during the next battle.
One of the things that I like about this book is that you can see Sam and his fellow minutemen hiding alongside the road while the red coats march down the road. Details about the number of minutemen and British soldiers are presented so the reader knows the minutemen are outnumbered.
George the Drummer Boy starts off with background information about England owning the colonies, the British soldiers repairing boats, and why the Revolutionary War started.
Then, George and his friend, Fred, were woken up with the rest of the British army. They prepared for battle, boarded the boats the repaired, then landed at Charlestown.
The reader is presented similar information about the number of British soldiers and minutemen as was provided in Sam the Minuteman, except this time it is from the point of view of George, the British soldier.
Sam’s friend, Fred, was shot in the arm. The minutemen were harder to see because they lined the roads from down below one time. Another time, the minutemen waited for the British soldiers on a hill. George wished there wasn’t a war nor the death it caused. He was happy when he got back to Boston safely.
My school age kids happen to be boys. They like these books because they are written like action/adventure books. It challenges their reading skills in grade 2, but they still enjoy these books a few years later.
Sam the Minuteman and George the Drummer Boy also make a great introduction to opposing view points. As Nathaniel Benchley, author of both George the Drummer Boy and Sam the Minuteman, said, “Just as it takes two sides to make a war, so there must be two stories for every battle. . .”