Monday, April 23, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Notorious Benedict Arnold

Today my Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post is brought to you by my son, an avid reader who loves history and facts and is more drawn to action in upper MG/YA books than relationship exploring. Here is his choice for the week, The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin, and the words are my son's although it follows my usual format (but like last week, I acted as an editor; it is my blog after all). Here goes . . .

The premise: Benedict Arnold, the traitorous general in the American Revolution, is a fire-y, hothead who likes doing things his way. This and his smart mouth always get him in trouble. But he is more than the sum of his infamous decision, and this book gives insight into the man Benedict Arnold was and how and why he made the decision he did.

What keeps readers reading: It's a non-fiction book always on the verge of something exciting, new, or dangerous. Through the story of one man's life and how it affected the history of a nation, the author makes you want to keep reading to see what happens next. It's a major contribution to American history in a way that most people want to read history--through a story.

What I enjoyed: I love a lot of things about this book. Even though I love non-fiction, I really liked how Steve Sheinkin took all his research on Benedict Arnold and wrote it in story form but kept it non-fiction. I also love how The Notorious Benedict Arnold took a stereotyped American hero-turned-traitor and unveiled the full story behind him.

That's my son's opinion! Although some find the non-fiction section scary, this book reads like an action thriller. For more middle grade recommendations, follow the links in my Middle Grade Monday tab or the ones found on Shannon Messenger's blog.

Happy middle grade reading!

16 comments:

  1. I liked this one, and it reminded me a bit of the biographies that I read as a child-- more like a story than something to use for a report. And it certainly had all of the information on Arnold that anyone would ever read!

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  2. And it's nonfiction. Hmmm... I think my eight year old would like this. I'll have to keep it in mind. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks Barbara's son for a great review. I don't usually read non-fiction but you've made this one sound good.

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  4. terrific! i have a friend whose son is in love with historical fiction. will pass this on :)

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  5. Cool idea to get your son's opinion! I love historical fiction and although this is considered non-fiction the fact that it is written as a story makes it more appealing. Thanks for the review!

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  6. Personally I love historical fiction and now that you brought it up that your son read and enjoyed it I will pass this one on to my 12o son. I'm sure he'll like it. Thanks Barbara!

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  7. Once again I love the review from the eyes of your children! Sounds like a great way to present non-fiction.

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  8. Wow - what a great benefit to teachers as well!

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  9. I see that the love for history runs in the family, fiction or non-fiction. Great review: I don't know much about Benedict Arnold, so I'd better read it!

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  10. Sounds like a great read. I like reading nonfiction and historical. I like when nonfiction can read like a story. Great review.

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  11. Barbara, your kids write great reviews. I wonder where they get their skills. ;)

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  12. I'll have to tell my 12 year old about it. He enjoys both non fiction and fiction. :D

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  13. My son has enjoyed your responses! I'm usually not a non-fiction lover, but what my son said about this book being story form non-fiction is right on.

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  14. This sounds great, Barbara! I really enjoyed reading your son's thoughts. It's fun to see non-fiction spotlighted too - what a great learning opportunity.

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  15. What a great review! Tell you son he did a great job!

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  16. Reminds me of Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold, by the always-fantastic Jean Fritz. Great review, Barbara's son!

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