Lafayette!: A Revolutionary War Tale by Nathan Hale

Information

Goodreads: Lafayette!
Series: Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #8
Source: Purchased
Published: 2018

Summary

Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale is about to be hanged, but the provost and the executioner keep asking him to tell tales from history.  So he begins the story of Marquis de Lafayette, a French orphan who became a major-general in the American Revolutionary army at the age of nineteen.

Star Divider

Review

I have always loved the story of Lafayette, so I was very excited to see that the latest of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales is a biography of the boy who became a major general in the American Revolutionary army at the age of nineteen.  Against the express orders of the French king, Lafayette bought his own ship to travel to America and fight for the cause of independence.  At first seen merely as a useless noble, he soon proved his worth in battle and became like a son to George Washington.  A heartwarming tale!  And one perfect for Nathan Hale’s graphic novel treatment.

The Hazardous Tales are narrated by Revolutionary War spy Nathan Hale, who was swallowed by a giant book just before his execution, and emerged knowing all of history.  Now, in each book, he spins tales from history for the provost and the executioner, thus prolonging his life.  This framing device allows Nathan Hale (the author) to expertly insert a bit of humor into each book as the three characters provide commentary and ask questions about the history.  Often, the executioner’s sense of humor is irreverent, in just the kind of way one would expect a middle-school audience to appreciate.

Hale’s sense of comedic timing is flawless, but so his sense of what makes a great story.  The oddities of the past, the quirks of historical figures, and the often strange and bloody events that history class skimmed over are all presented, making the past come alive.  Readers will delight in the details they never knew.

Hale’s passion for American history is evident in every book and it is contagious.  The Hazardous Tales are a wonderful series for readers who love history. But they also just  make a reluctant student of history into an enthusiastic one.

4 stars

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