Dec 192017
 

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine published the first of a series of pamphlets called The American Crisis in 1776. His goal was to improve morale of both citizens and soldiers. His words were and still are very effective. His first words were:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…”

The last of the pamphlets was printed December 9, 1783. Children can view the entire work at: The American Crisis

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Dec 192017
 
Valley Forge Headquarters Photo by Carol Highsmith

Valley Forge Headquarters
Photo by Carol Highsmith

Valley Forge was the site of Washington encampment during the winter of 1777 and 1778. The army of 10,000 soldiers had to make their own huts. Food and clothing were scarce. About one-fourth of the troops died, and a smallpox epidemic made matters worse. The British, on the other hand, had quite nice conditions in Philadelphia. The arrival of Baron von Steuben and his drilling techniques strengthened the army, and they experienced battle success by June. Children could read more about Valley Forge and take a quiz at: Valley Forge. Children could also read the wonderful book The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, by Dorothea Jensen. It portrays the horrors of the Revolutionary War and the conditions of Valley Forge through the eyes of two adolescents.

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Dec 192017
 

Eve Bunting (born Maghera, Northern Ireland, 1928) is a children’s author. She has written more than 250 books, including Fly Away Home. Fly Away HomeShe received the 1976 Golden Kite Award for One More Flight. She also received the 1993 Edgar Award for Coffin on a Case. Children can see a video interview of Eve at: http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/bunting/

Sir William Edward Parry (born Bath, England, 1790; died Ems, Germany, July 8, 1855) was an explorer. He led expeditions to the Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. Children could explore the concept of the Northwest Passage. Why was it so important to the United Kingdom?

Eleanor H. Porter (born Littleton, New Hampshire, 1868; died Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 21, 1920) was a children’s author. She wrote both short stories and novels. Her most well-known work is Pollyanna, published in 1913. Children can read many of her works, including Pollyanna, at: Project Gutenberg. They can learn more at: Eleanor H. Porter.

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