Remember all those exciting facts you learned about the American Revolution during history class? Neither do we. Dates like July 4th and battle sites like Bunker Hill and Saratoga come to mind, but there’s so much more to know about the revolt that established our country.
Spanning nearly two decades, the epoch of the American Revolution is overflowing with key figures and events that make the perfect backdrop for a comprehensive biography or a thrilling historical fiction novel. While both genres can vary in certain aspects, what these eight books have in common is the heart of the American Revolution itself—the fight for freedom. Whether you need a little refresher on your American history, or you’re looking for some thrilling tales that take place during this time period, the following books will not disappoint.
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From New York Times bestselling author John Jakes comes this riveting historical fiction novel, the second installment in his Kent Family Chronicles. The series follows a family living in colonial America as war begins to brew and people begin to take up arms against British forces. In The Rebels, Philip Kent, a Continental soldier, finds himself on Bunker Hill during a decisive battle that will change the course of American history. Kent is determined to bring honor to his family by participating in the effort to help establish a new and independent country. But will his bravery cost him his life?
Fans of Red Badge of Courage will fall in love with the story of fifteen-year-old Adam Cooper, who was determined to prove himself useful in the Revolutionary War. Though underage, Cooper enlists with the patriots and fights in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
Women of the Revolution
We often hear of the brutal and bloody battles men faced during the American Revolution, but women had a presence on the battlefield as well. In this thrilling account from Robert Dunkerly, we are told of the incredible roles women played during the war. Primarily focusing on the Carolinas, Dunkerly highlights the efforts women—both Loyalists and Patriots alike—made in an attempt to preserve their lives and the lives of those they cared for. Some of these women were followers attached to certain armies, while others were civilians caught in the crossfire of war. Each had their own decisions to make, and reading their stories will keep you on the edge of your seat as you pore through this engrossing book.
Just a month after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Revolutionary War almost ended as quickly as it had begun. While the Patriotic troops were gearing up to fight back against Loyalist forces, an attack from the British army caught the Patriots off guard. General George Washington was cornered in Brooklyn, and his troops almost succumbed—until the “Immortal 400,” a squad made up of 400 courageous soldiers, swept through and kept British forces at bay. Award-winning historian Patrick K. O’Donnell dives into the background of this brave group made up of rich merchants, common folk, and free black soldiers, who risked their lives to allow the Continental Army to escape that fateful day.
This award-winning novel from Michael C. Harris highlights an oft-forgotten battle of the Revolutionary War, and a decisive loss for the Patriots that nearly spelled disaster for them. The bitter fighting at Brandywine Creek enabled General Sir William Howe’s British forces to capture Philadelphia in September 1777. A historic moment in military history, the impact and strategic operation of the fall of Philadelphia is fully explored in Brandywine. In the text, Harris thoroughly examines dozens of documents to deliver a comprehensive overview of this important battle. Replete with original maps, photos, and other vital materials, Brandywine will transport readers to the front lines of the fight.
This romantic drama is set in Charleston, South Carolina at the start of the American Revolution. Celia Garth, an heiress to a large plantation and a worker in a dress shop, listens to all of the exciting—and occasionally horrific—stories from the front lines. She doesn’t think anything of it at first...that is, until the war reaches Charleston. In the aftermath of the battle, the British capture the town and Celia is devastated at the loss of everything she held dear to her heart.
In a surprising turn of events, Patriot General Francis Marion fights back against the British, and Celia is recruited into the rebel army as a spy. Now in the heat of the battle, not only will Celia be a part of history in the making, but she will also experience a romance more thrilling than any battle.
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The Whiskey Rebels
Taking place just after the American Revolution, this historical fiction tale from David Liss explores the aftermath of a bloody war and America’s first steps in becoming a new nation. The story follows Ethan Saunders, a former spy for General George Washington who was accused of treason, and Joan Maycott, the wife of a war veteran.
Knowing that the accusation of treason cost him his reputation, Ethan leads a bitter life. One day, Alexander Hamilton offers Ethan the opportunity to repair his image. In return, Ethan must promise to aid Hamilton in his power struggle with Thomas Jefferson over the latter's plans for the Bank of the United States, the nation's first real financial institution. Meanwhile, Joan lives with her husband on the frontier, hoping for a better life. But when the Maycotts are threatened by a gang of powerful, brutal men in the area, she has to think quickly before things take a deadly turn. Faced with incredibly difficult scenarios, the choices both characters make will eventually intertwine in this well-crafted novel.
Based on one of Zane Grey's own ancestors, Betty Zane tells the fascinating tale of one small battle within the American Revolution.
On September 11, 1782, Col. David Shephard ordered the Zane family to defend the small fort against an army of two hundred British troop and four hundred members of the Shawnee tribe. And while many fought to defend the site, Betty became an unexpected here.
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Rise to Rebellion
Written by New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara, Rise to Rebellion is an extensive and engaging novel that traces the prelude to the American Revolution. The story begins just days after the Boston Massacre, when passionate lawyer John Adams is forced to defend the tyrants who killed innocent people. As the courtroom battle heats up, talks of rebellion and war against King George III become increasingly common. When the war begins to erupt, General George Washington, a former war hero during the French and Indian War, leads the Continental Army into a battle that will change history. Filled with accurate historical details, dates, and events, this novel is a dramatic and entertaining retelling of everything we read in our history books growing up.
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This fascinating novel from Kenneth Roberts narrates the American Revolution through the eyes of the titular character, who just so happens to be a Loyalist. When war breaks out in the colonies, Oliver examines all of the events that led up to it, in addition to the figures who are taking sides. Oliver understands the plight of the American people, but he also believes that there are two kinds of Patriots: the ones who just want to create chaos, and those who believe in a nobler cause. His opinions aside, Oliver aligns himself with the Loyalists and joins their side in order to squash the rebel rousers before they grow too strong. While definitely a unique and maybe even controversial take on the American Revolution, this novel succeeds at offering insight into the reasons why some early Americans were Loyalists.
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