Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Calvert the Raven in the Battle of Baltimore: Flying Through History-J. Scott Fuqua

Calvert the Raven in the Battle of Baltimore: Flying Through History

J. Scott Fuqua

Bancroft Press, Mar 4 2013, $7.99 (trade), $17.99 (hardcover)

ISBN: 9781610880787 (trade); 9781610880770 (hardcover)

At school in Baltimore, Daniel studies the boring War of 1812 musing how he will stay awake reading this ennui fight while also wondering why no cameras were invented to at least take still photos. His teacher writes “Terrible” on his report.

Calvert the raven shocks Daniel when he speaks to the lad saying he will prove firsthand that history is exciting. He takes the skeptical student back to 1814 Baltimore where the British army and navy attack Fort McHenry. Explaining to the stunned child that history is fluid as there is a distinct possibility that this time the Star-Spangled Banner may not wave comes morning.

The first Flying Through History tale is a superb historical (with speculative elements like time travel and anthropomorphism) as the illustrations enhance a deep look at the battle that led to the National Anthem. Elementary school students will want to sear back in time with Calvert as he makes his case that history is thrilling using “empirical experience”.

Harriet Klausner

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