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|Five 4ths of July|
Author: Hughes, Pat
On July 4th, 1777, Jake, 14, and his friends are celebrating their new nation's independence, but over the next four years Jake finds himself in increasingly adventurous circumstances.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 143888
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 54364
Common Core Standards
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/11)
School Library Journal (06/01/11)
Booklist (+) (05/15/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (06/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2011 In 1777, Jake Mallery is little more than a rebellious boy, chafing under his father’s expectations that he stay home and help with the family’s ferry and oystering businesses when he’d rather go to sea as a cabin boy. In 1778, Jake’s dissatisfaction breaks into open rebellion as he drinks, flirts, taunts the indentured girl Hannah who serves in the home of his best friend, Tim, and loses the war of wills with his father, who beats him into enlisting in the local militia. One year later, just as Jake falls deeply in love with Hannah, war arrives in his Connecticut town and he and Tim are taken prisoner as they attempt to defend the Mallerys’ ferry. 1780 finds them suffering aboard the British prison ship Bonhomme; Tim dies from wounds inflicted by the guards who quell an incipient riot in which Jake takes a leading role, and Jake, reckless with despair and guilt, escapes. In 1781, after taking refuge for months with a kind Tory couple, Jake confesses to them his true political sympathies. They turn him out of their home, but put him in touch with traders from his own town, who turn out to be old friends. Finally, Jake heads home, strengthened now with the knowledge that Hannah has borne him a son and is confidently awaiting his return at the Mallery house, where Jake’s contrite father dotes on her and baby Jake. Hughes limits her narrative to events immediately surrounding the 4th of July over the course of the five years, a literary strategy that cleverly captures Jake in a series of finely drawn portraits and that builds suspense as readers hustle at the opening of each section to reconstruct the episodes of the previous year that brought Jake to a new phase in his life. Headstrong and passionate, often confused but always resourceful, Jake Mallery earns a place alongside M. T. Anderson’s Octavian Nothing and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Curzon as a brilliantly developed character who embodies the dignity-even heroism-of survival in perilous times. An author’s note discusses the family history on which this story is based. EB - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 05/15/2011 *Starred Review* As a cocky teenager in 1770s Connecticut, Jake is a leader among his friends, sure of the Patriot cause and offhandedly cruel to the neighbor’s indentured servant girl, Hannah. Then the war comes and interrupts his easily begotten assumptions. Not that Jake’s life is easy to begin with: his father is coldly controlling, to the point of physical violence, and Jake always feels like the least favorite son. After one particularly harsh confrontation with his father, he finds an unexpected ally in Hannah. The two slowly begin to see each other with a transformative mutual respect that will grow into love and a hoped-for future together. When British regulars invade East Haven, and the little port village is catapulted into the war, Jake is mortified to realize he fears combat. After he and a friend try to protect his father’s ferry, they are arrested and sent to a ship-of-horrors maritime prison in New York Harbor. Though the ending is tied up a bit too neatly, Hughes has written a powerful and resonant story about the effects of war upon a family and a community, and readers will suffer and triumph along with Jake on his epic, five-year journey. A memorable adventure. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2011 Gr 7–10—Jake Mallery is held to a high standard by his Patriot father, but he would rather be dreaming up pranks and daring escapades with his peers than running the family-owned ferry. He is certainly uninterested in training as a soldier on the remote chance that the British might attack their area of Connecticut. Jake's coming-of-age story unfolds in five lengthy chapters, from 1777 to 1781, that trace his trials and tribulations as a boy, rebel, soldier, prisoner, and, finally, Patriot. Hughes builds her exciting narrative through careful research, infusing her characters with idealistic sentiments that contemporary teens will recognize—youthful ambitions, bravado, and honest insecurities. Jake, presented as an argumentative, even jealous teen, indignant at how his Yale student brother is favored by his father, develops a sense of responsibility and maturity through his progressively dangerous circumstances and comes full circle as a prisoner of war. Hughes's often-gruesome descriptions of life on the British prison ships will leave readers with admiration for Jake's reversal of egocentricity as he quickly learns the rules of survival and deals with realistic outcomes, including the brutal death of a childhood friend, a love interest that results in a pregnancy, and an escape scenario. Jake's epiphany—that the ideals and life aspirations of Loyalists and Patriots can be one and the same the same—could have readers drawing parallels to today's global rebellions and often warlike freedom-seeking protests in the Middle East. A great adventure story with strong discussion potential for character study and democratic values.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.