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Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore Reviewed By Nicholas Efstathiou
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Nicholas Efstathiou

Reviewer Nicholas Efstathiou: Nicholas is a husband and father, as well as an avid student of military history. He holds a bachelor's in English Literature and a master's in Military History. He and his wife Carol, along with their three children, live in New England.

 
By Nicholas Efstathiou
Published on June 27, 2013
 

Author: J. Scott Fuqua

Publisher: Bancroft Press

ISBN:  978-1-61088-077-0


Title: Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore

Author: J. Scott Fuqua

Publisher: Bancroft Press

ISBN:  978-1-61088-077-0


History can often be a difficult subject for teachers and parents to tempt young readers with.  In J. Scott Fuqua’s Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore this challenge is tackled from the very beginning.  Fuqua’s main character, Daniel, has recently failed an assignment regarding the War of 1812, all because the history of the war was boring -- as far as Daniel could see.  At this point in the story the reader is introduced to Calvert, a raven, and Fuqua begins his efforts to entice young readers into learning about history.

The history that Fuqua focuses upon in this particular book is the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.  Fuqua does this through Calvert, who magically shrinks Daniel and takes him back in time to observe the battle first hand.  Fuqua, who has illustrated the book as well as written it, brings the battle to life not only for Daniel, but for the reader as well.  The difficulties of fighting are impressed upon Daniel’s mind, as is the fact that the fate of the United States of America hinges on the outcome of the battle.

While Fuqua doesn’t speak down to his readers he does write in an easily understood way.  His dialogue between Calvert and Daniel is unpretentious, showing that Fuqua has, on more than one occasion, actually listened to children speak to one another.

Over all Fuqua’s Calvert the Raven in the Battle of Baltimore is an interesting read.  The book is appropriate not only for children already interested in history, but it should also be considered for inclusion in school libraries as it is sure to help open the door of history for children.


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