Henry Knox

Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot
40p. 978-0-61827-485-7.
Gr 3—6—This is a beautifully illustrated introduction to a lesser-known Revolutionary War figure. As a child, Knox worked in a bookstore where he read about engineering and military history and became fascinated by machinery. He went on to open his own bookstore and specialized in works on military science. After fleeing Boston due to the intensifying conflict with British soldiers, he soon joined the Continental Army. He was then named head of artillery, though the army's only artillery was 300 miles away at Fort Ticonderoga. Silvey emphasizes Knox's obstinacy in the face of challenges. It was this spirit, she argues, that spurred him to oversee transport of 12,000 pounds of artillery over frozen mountains and lakes to General Washington in Boston. The narrative ends with his success. Further details on the war and on Knox's life are provided in a time line. Silvey's account is admiring but unornamented, and history buffs and future engineers especially will find some inspiration here beyond the biography report. Minor brings the arduous journey to life through vivid paintings of the Colonial figures and unforgiving landscape. Many are presented in striking spreads. Richard M. Strum's biography (OTTN, 2007) is highly readable and more comprehensive, but Minor's engaging paintings of a memorable incident will make a nice supplement to Revolutionary War units.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
This picture book biography provides information about Knox's early life, then recounts how in 1776 he managed the transport of fifty-nine heavy artillery pieces from Lake Champlain to the siege lines outside Boston. The basic story, handsomely pictured in Minor's style of weathered Americana, is historically sound, but the text contains some inaccuracies and details unsupported by contemporaneous documents. Reading list, timeline. Bib.

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