Review Detail

A Look at Valley Forge
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Abigail Stewart lives a simple life in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, but the War for Independence quickly intrudes on her family when General George Washington leads his troops to winter in the area. The Stewart family takes in the Generals laundry in order to help serve the Continental Army and becomes intertwined with Martha Washington at the army headquarters. As Abby wades through the bitter winter and gets to know the Washingtons, she encounters the atrocities the soldiers experiencehunger, cold and disease.

Though lacking an overarching goal or conflict, The Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana Gregory still remains an interesting read; cultural details and a series of smaller conflicts keep the reader turning pages. The author manages to create enough micro-tension to achieve this effectively.

This reissue of a 2003 release captures the hardship felt by both civilian and soldier during that bleak winter of 1777-1778. Perhaps this is the reason the book was not set within the soldier camp itself; portraying both parties experiences seems critical to the book. In addition, such a setting might overwhelm young readers with its horrors.

The cast of characters feels a bit unwieldy at moments, forcing the reader to pause and recollect whom the character is and if he is of importance. However, Abbys character is compassionate and thoughtful, an introspective young lady. On the whole, the book engages the reader and makes this remarkable period of history accessible and exciting.

Includes a historical note, illustrations and maps.
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