I Survived the American Revolution, 1776

Written by Lauren Tarshis
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

This book is a part of the popular “I Survived” series, written for upper elementary readers to bring them a first-person narrative of important events in world history.

Set in the summer of 1776, the story is told through the perspective of Nathaniel Fox, an eleven-year-old boy who gets caught in the middle of the Battle of Brooklyn, the largest battle fought during the American Revolution. As an orphan, Nathaniel has been living with his despicable uncle, Uriah Storch, in Norwalk, Connecticut, when he decides to run away. Stowing away on a ship bound for New York, Nate arrives in New York City to find its streets packed with colonial soldiers.

Within hours, British ships arrive off port and begin firing on the city. Nate is caught without cover on the streets, and runs for his life. He arrives at a city green north of the city, and rests at the military encampment where he is taken in as a camp assistant. For the next several weeks Nate does more physical labor than he ever thought possible. The story climaxes as the Battle of Brooklyn, in full swing, helps Nate to learn firsthand about the perils of warfare. Nate survives, but has grown up through the process of being immersed in the American Revolution.

Well-researched and packed full of action, this book should appeal to elementary students who are learning about the American Revolution. I enjoyed the development of the characters, but felt the ending occurred too rapidly once the battle was over.