When his father is killed by rebel vigilantes, Noah flees with his family to Boston. Intent on avenging his father, Noah becomes a spy for the British and firsthand witness to the hypocrisy of men. Noah must forge his own understanding of right and wrong and determine for himself where his loyalty truly lies.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 514293
Kirkus Reviews (-) (12/01/21)
School Library Journal (+) (12/01/21)
The Hornbook (00/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2021 In his newest novel, Avi revisits the beginnings of the American Revolution, exploring the era from a young Loyalist’s point of view. As the story opens, Noah’s father—a Church of England pastor—proclaims support for the crown from his pulpit, setting off a series of events that result in his death and change the lives of his family forever. They move to Boston, where Noah earns his wages undercover in a Patriot-friendly tavern, spying for the British cause. There he meets Jolla, a young free Black man. Through their time together, as well as all he experiences in the months leading into the beginning of the war, Noah comes to the realization that, no matter what they profess, there is hypocrisy on both sides of the conflict. Confused and disillusioned, Noah must decide where he will stand. With his trademark eye for detail, Avi brings readers into the story’s time and place, sparing no realities of war and dealing authentically with Noah’s emotions. Inclusive and objective, the work delivers historical food for thought and a great read. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2021 Gr 4–7—In 1774, Massachusetts was central to rising tensions between the Colonies and Britain. Thirteen-year-old Noah's family supports the King, but a friend's betrayal causes the family to be driven from their home after members of the Sons of Liberty beat Noah and tar and feather his father. It's no wonder then that once Noah, his mother, and sisters flee to Boston, the teen becomes a spy for the British. Noah's commitment to the Loyalist cause wavers as he sees hypocrisy and tyranny on both sides. His Black friend Jolla raises white Noah's awareness of British and American commitment to slavery. As Noah struggles to determine where his loyalty lies, his mother's words "think for yourself" guide him and will resonate with readers. While Noah witnesses the famous "shot heard round the world" at Lexington, the book is less about combat than the issues that stoke the fires of conflict, many of which are relevant today. His involvement in another historical event demonstrates that rapid-fire spread of inaccurate news is not a recent development. Avi paints a vivid portrait of the pubs, streets, and coastline of colonial Boston, fraught with danger due to rising tensions among the citizens. Noah's fate is left unresolved, suggesting there are no easy answers when choosing between right and wrong, but he is prepared to make his own decisions with confidence. VERDICT A fascinating, complex and rarely seen view of the American Revolutionary War; a first purchase.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.