"Remember that knowledge of the past opens your mind in a way that helps you act more wisely."

This engaging book presents a dynamic study of America’s founding, in which the Tuttle twins, Ethan and Emily, will listen and learn through various dramatic strategies. The process begins when their senior neighbor Fred chats with the pair as they clean up after an Independence Day celebration. They are fascinated by his well-told stories about their country’s beginnings. Fred gives them the Big Book of Battles, focusing on well-known incidents of the American Revolutionary War. This exploration will gradually lead the pair to question more deeply the accounts and assumptions available from standard texts. At one point, Fred and the twins, confronted by a local policeman for distributing political literature, are saved when Fred cites time-honored citizens’ rights. After Emily and Ethan attend a town council meeting centered on the need (or not) for a big new auditorium to replace the community center the Tuttle family had diligently initiated the previous year, the resulting political machinations will provide further necessary lessons for the two savvy, open-minded youngsters.

Boyack, the founder of the Libertas Institute, has collaborated with illustrator Elijah Stanfield to produce several Tuttle Twins works. The current book is a sound, historical case encouraging readers to think more deeply about America’s Revolutionary War, the country’s establishment as an independent nation, the meaning of documents like the Constitution, and the varied ways that apparently admirable events and writings can be misinterpreted. One of many well-considered examples is a significant segment defining the designation “traitor.” The large, vividly illustrated book, with its perceptive presentation of the twins’ enthusiastic search for truth, is underpinned with additional features, including occasional “Thoughts” from its creators while utilizing lively, realistic, kid-centered settings like summer camp and a local fair. This timely tale is certain to intrigue and instruct intelligent children as well as their parents and teachers.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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