Denice Barlow Brown’s “The Moonlight Message” is a great “historical short story” for young readers. The story takes place during the opening days of the American Revolution, and depicts the actions of two sisters, Grace and Rachel, who are inspired by their father’s and older brother’s joining the patriot cause. The sisters want to support the “patriot” cause of liberty in the same way the men folk are doing, by taking up arms against the British. They decide to disguise themselves as young men to join the fight. In their travels to join the men at the front, they stumble upon a Loyalist or “King’s Men” spy ring. The girls manage to capture way-lay the currier from the spy ring and successfully take the message he was carrying to General Nathanael Greene; thus averting the British from obtaining valuable secret information. The girls then return home to regale their mother about their patriotic adventure, and the story ends with all the women feeling proud in the performance of their patriotic duty.
I normally don’t review children’s books; however, I found Brown’s book, which is also beautifully illustrated by the author, was a wonderful vehicle to teach my 7 year old grandson about the American Revolution and a very valuable ethical lesson. Regardless of gender everyone has an equal desire and right to contribute to worthy causes. I recommend this book for all children 7-12 years old.
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