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Book Review: George Rogers Clark, Boy of the Northwest Frontier


Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Other Books in This Series

• Amelia Earhart
• William Henry Harrison
• Lew Wallace
• Juliette Low
• James Whitcomb Riley
• Eddie Rickenbacker
• Mahalia Jackson
John Hancock
Phillis Wheatley
Abner Doubleday

Book Eight in the wonderful Young Patriots Series is George Rogers Clark, Boy of the Northwest Frontier, by Katherine E. Wilkie. Like the other books in the series, this book is a republication, this time of a book that came out originally in 1974.

It has lost none of its relevance.

George Rogers Clark is a familiar name to many Americans, although few would be able to place his name in a certain context. In fact, as an adult, Clark made a name for himself by taking—and then retaking—Kaskaskia and Vincennes, two vastly important strongholds, during the American Revolutionary War. A frontiersman extraordinaire, Clark led his men on a desperate march that ended in a glittering success and inspired his countrymen to keep on fighting.

This book, however, focuses on George Rogers as a young boy. The book is filled with examples of the boy's adventuresome spirit and need to be outdoors, not indoors in school or doing home chores. One especially harrowing incident involves George Rogers saving the day when robbers hold the adults at gunpoint. Young George Rogers, having stumbled on a secret passage, wrests a money bag away from one of the robbers and then eludes pursuit by plunging into the darkness of the secret passage, emerging outside and free from danger. His daring escapade so distracts the chaser's accomplice that the adults being held at gunpoint are able to turn the tables on the gunman and escape unharmed, capturing the robbers in the process.

Another time, George Rogers refuses to leave his injured dog behind but is too exhausted to carry him; this forces the pair to spend the night along in the woods, with a panther on the loose!

Showing what a close-knit group the revolutionary community was, the author points out that among George Rogers' friends were a young James Madison and a young Thomas Jefferson. George Rogers even meets Patrick Henry along the way. And George Rogers' brother, it turns out, is William Clark, who went west with Meriwether Lewis on the famous Lewis & Clark journey requested by none other than Thomas Jefferson.

This book does a good job of setting the scene for the youngster's later history-making activities, then includes them, building a well-rounded picture of a young boy who puts his penchant for adventure and excitement to good use in defending his country.

Graphics courtesy of Patria Press

Buy this book from Patria Press

 
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