Why Don't You Get a Horse, Sam Adams?

Common Sense Media says

Fun story about quirky patriot's quest.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fun account of Samuel Adams' quest for an independent America (his dog's antics almost steal the spotlight) has funny moments.

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Kids say

What's the story?

What could possibly get Samuel Adams, an avowed walker, on horseback? Nothing short of a revolution, of course! Read this amiable tale and learn how one man, his dog, and, yes, his horse figure into the fabric of the early days of America. A quick read, with lots of amusing illustrations.

Is it any good?


WHY DON'T YOU GET A HORSE, SAM ADAMS? delivers a clear history lesson about the events leading up to the American Revolution. Along the way, the author effectively describes Adams' personality and appearance. The author's two-page postscript provides background information on Adams' reasons for resenting England. The note sheds light on his political motivations, but it is a clumsy device and should have been incorporated into the main story, where it would have bolstered the slender text.

Instead, the illustrations add a welcome dimension to Adams' story. The drawings are mainly black and white, although some are shaded with brown tones. Small details enliven everyday scenes (a cat arching against a chair leg), and the facial expressions convey simple but strong emotion (the joy of a boy carrying the American flag).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this humanizing portrait of Sam Adams. How is he different from some of the other heroes of the Revolution? How is he different from your idea of the Revolutionary heroes?

Book details

Author:Jean Fritz
Illustrator:Trina Schart Hyman
Genre:Historical Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:January 1, 1974
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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