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Heroes of History: George Washington

Written by Editors

In an extraordinary addition to the enormous documentation of George Washington’s life, the reader will not only be entertained, but will learn more about motivations and causes of the events in Washington’s life. Rather than appearing godlike as in some biographies, Washington is shown as human with human concerns plus strengths and frailties.

Of course, the bulk of the story centers on his adult life, since less is known about his childhood. As the leader of a small group of militia at age twenty-one, Washington helped start the French and Indian War by making the British aware of the readiness of French troops. After a time working for the British, he spent sixteen years as a farmer at Mount Vernon. During that time, unrest was building. Then, when the Revolutionary War began, the country needed experienced officers. They looked to Washington. From that time until his death, Washington had little time that was his own. He did well, but was often caught in the middle of political fights. Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists strongly disagreed with Madison and the Republicans. How to strike a compromise? The French and England went to war. Who to defend? He faced many no-win situations.

Heavily illustrated, this is a great start for any project about our first president. It will hold the reader’s interest and explain events in ways they may not have considered before.

  • WashingtonTitle: Heroes of History: George Washington
  • Published: Liberty Street/Time Inc. Books, 2018
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska                                                     
  • Format: Paperback, 144 pages
  • Grade Level: 5 Up
  • Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
  • ISBN: 978-1-68330-849-2
  • Extras: Table of Contents, In His Own Words: George Washington, The Life and Times of George Washington, Index, Acknowledgments, Picture Credits

Sinking the Sultana: A Civil War Story of Imprisonment, Greed, and a Doomed Journey Home

Written by Sally M. Walker

Meticulous research and a riveting and little-known story highlight this new work from the master of nonfiction. Had the Sultana not sunk at the same time the country was mourning Abraham Lincoln’s death, history might have taken more notice.

At the end of the Civil War, a naval disaster occurred that rivaled the Titanic in casualties. The author carefully explains each aspect of the factors leading up to the disaster, as well as the disaster itself and the aftermath. One chapter gives great descriptions of steamboats and how they became a favorite mode a transportation. Then the reader learns about the Civil War itself. Next is a description of Civil War prisons, how they were set up, and how overcrowding became the norm. One of the more graphic chapters, this is not for the fainthearted. A series of missteps caused the Sultana to be wildly overcrowded for the transport north of former prisoners from Andersonville and other prisons. Leaving Memphis, the Sultana’s boilers exploded. At least 1,500 people perished as a result. Due to spotty rescue and utter confusion, an exact count was never determined. In fact, survivors were often denied pensions because the Army thought them dead. And many listed as surviving had, in fact, perished in the explosion.

Because many individuals are tracked throughout the story, the reader will wait with the people of the time to learn the fates of the passengers. Great resource for classroom and home.

  • Sinking the SultanaTitle: Sinking the Sultana: A Civil War Story of Imprisonment, Greed, and a Doomed Journey Home
  • Author: Sally M. Walker
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
  • Grade Level: 5 to 6
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Civil War
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-7755-8
  • Extras: Roll Call, Author’s Note, Glossary, Source Notes, Bibliography, Image Credits, Index