FICTION

Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold

illus. by John O'Brien. 48p. bibliog. chron. Calkins Creek. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781629793412.
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Gr 3–6—In short, dramatic scenes, this title by the author of Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette presents the story of two notorious Revolutionary War soldiers. The straightforward narrative alternates between the viewpoints of British major John André and American major General Benedict Arnold, two men whose desire for power and recognition eclipsed their sense of honor and integrity. The book unfolds chronologically, moving from British headquarters in New York City to various outposts throughout upstate New York. Negotiations took some time, but eventually a deal was struck and the conspirators finally met. At each turn along the road to treason, Castrovilla shines a light on the motivations and conflicted emotions of André and Arnold. Although they dreamed of glory, the two Revolutionary rogues both came to a bitter end. The ink and watercolor illustrations set the scene in careful detail. The muted colors and interesting textures of the artwork call to mind old-fashioned woodblock prints. In two panels depicting Arnold's narrow escape, the American traitor dashes through the front door of his sumptuous home as his dismayed wife looks on, and then rides on horseback down a rocky hill to the river. A concluding author's note and a list of places to visit add historical interest.
VERDICT Future historians will enjoy this psychological chronicle of how Arnold plotted with André to betray his fellow patriots.

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