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The Spirit of a Revolution, Boston: Liberty’s Cradle Review by Katie SeppanenHistorically Accurate Novel
In our homeschool, we are doing a deep dive into American history. So, the novel The Spirit of a Revolution, Boston: Liberty’s Cradle, by Cam Molineux, was perfect for exploring beyond the typically taught ideas. Focusing on William Molineux and the events preceding the Boston Tea Party, this novel takes the reader into the daily life of prominent Boston residents and the struggles they faced as the conflict between the colonies and Great Britain grew.
From the first chapter, the novel draws the reader into scenes of personal conflict and struggle. What should one do when faced with growing antagonism between a governing body and individual freedoms? The reader can sympathize with Mr. Molineux as he tries to best combat Parliament’s tyrannical laws. Beginning with the summer of 1764 and moving through the Boston Tea Party, it is an easy read and flows well. We used it as a family read-aloud and often made notes to stop to look up more information on specific events.
As a homeschooling mother, I appreciated the author’s ability to draw the reader into the story. As well-known as the Boston Tea Party is, much day-to-day information about this time was not found in a typical textbook. The author is also a descendant of the main character and incorporated that knowledge of her family.
While William Molineux is the main character, the story provides perspectives occasionally given by more familiar names such as John Hancock and Thomas Hutchinson. In addition, the author did an excellent job presenting both sides by including bits and pieces of Loyalist thoughts and actions through the portrayal of the Massachusetts Bay Lieutenant Governor.
We found that the many names were hard to keep track of and made a simple list. Every time a person was mentioned, we recorded that name and relevant job title or relationship to Mr. Molineux. This helped immensely. Adults reading this book may find themselves learning additional information leading to the Boston Tea Party. Most typical history books present the timeline of events without background or interest. I would have had far more interest in history as a child if I had read a novel like this one.
The novel best kept the attention of my ten and older children. It was an excellent way to set the tone for a deep dive into American history.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about events that shaped the founding of the United States. Cam Molineux takes the reader on a journey that ends with a greater understanding of the earliest patriots and their struggles as the Revolution drew closer. This historically accurate novel could be used as a family read-aloud, a just-for-fun read, or a launching point to discover more about the little-known people who shaped our country.
-Product review by Katie Seppanen, The Old Schoolhouse® December 2022