Sunday, February 24, 2013

Henry and the Cannons

Henry and the Cannons
written and illustrated by Don Brown
2013 (Roaring Brook Press)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Check out Nonfiction Monday at Shelf Employed

You thought you had a tough job. Henry Knox's job was tougher. General George Washington wanted cannons so he could drive the British from Boston. A bookseller by trade, Knox was confident that he could bring cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. This was a 300 mile journey lugging 120,000 pounds of cannon. First, Knox had to take the 59 cannons to Lake George and put them on boats. After leaving the lake, the cannons were pulled by oxen through snow and mud. Henry Knox and his crew suffered several setbacks, but after a trip of 50 days they reached General Washington outside of Boston. The arrival of these cannons would make a major contribution to the fleeing of the British soldiers from Boston. A parade was held to celebrate and Henry Knox joined General Washington on a ride through Boston as citizens celebrated.

Henry and the Cannons, besides being a great addition to a unit on the American Revolution, would be an excellent text for teaching the trait of determination. With several near disasters that could have ended this journey, Henry and his crew fight on and finish the job. Author Don Brown makes this story so accessible with text that is easy to read. That's not an easy feat for a history book. With a little pre-loading of terms like Fort Ticonderoga and Berkshire, you could give this book to a second or third grader and they would be able to read it. Looking for a hero? Discover Henry Knox in a wonderful new book.


  1. I like Don Brown's books. He makes history very accessible. Thanks for joining in the roundup today. I'll get all the links up this evening.

  2. I'm a Don Brown fan, too. I've added this to our Must Read list; thanks for highlighting it!

    Loree Griffin Burns

  3. Great review, Jeff. As you know, I have a soft spot for picture book biographies, and I hadn't heard of this one. And I love that he was a bookseller -- just another example of the many talents and characteristics of booksellers, including, as you said, determination.

  4. I am new to Don Browns books, and this one looks like a great read. I already put this on hold at the library. Thanks for recommending!

  5. Wow! how did I miss this on Monday - I definitely want to check this book out. It's the sort of book my kids would have loved back when they were gobbling all the Revol. and Civil war history they could.
    thanks for sharing.


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