What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the character's emotional state and physical activities are described in vivid detail using simple sentences.
What's the story?
When fourteen-year-old Daniel West is forced to choose between allegiance to England and support of the rebellious American colonists, he makes a stunning public declaration that goes beyond mere words. Travel back to a volatile time when political conflicts raged throughout the colonies, in this historical novel by Jean Fritz. Discover how one boy's brush with danger changes his life's course forever.
Is it any good?
As in other Jean Fritz books, the historical details in EARLY THUNDER are authentic, and overall the book is absorbing and dramatic. Unlike most of Fritz's books, however, it does not rely on humor to convey its message, and its tone is generally serious. The title refers to the specter of war looming over the colonies in 1775: Daniel must decide whether he's a Tory, like his father, or a Whig, like his peers.
Embedded in this solid history lesson is a poignant and timeless coming-of-age story. Like many children today, Daniel is a small boy with big burdens. Daniel takes a significant step toward adulthood in the book's climax, in which he fights heroically to save the town's boat, engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a British soldier.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about rebellion. In siding with the rebellious colonists, Daniel rejects his Tory upbringing. Younger readers: Have you ever taken a position on a major issue that's very different from your parents' point of view? Was it difficult to reach that decision?