June 28, 2007

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Samuel Adams: Patriot and Statesman, by Matt Doeden, illustrated by Tod Smith et al. (Capstone Press, 2007, 32 pages)
Reviewed by Lisa Parsons news@hippopress.com

Part of Capstone’s “Graphic Library” of “action-packed” biographies, which so far includes about 25 historical figures ranging from Amelia Earhart to Jane Goodall and from William Penn to Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a hardcover comic book showing Sam Adams growing from a young man in Boston into a revolution-spurring Son of Liberty who “never stopped looking for ways to set people against the British.” It covers the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, and Lexington and Concord in just a few cartoon pages each. Most of the dialogue is imagined, of course, but in a few panels the word bubbles contain actual historical quotes. It’s a little stilted in places, but then, this book is not meant to convey subtleties. It’s not a bad addition to the “intro to American Revolution” toolbox. At least it has pictures, and seeing people (or drawings of them) act out a debate or battle can be more memorable than hearing an objective description of the event. B- —Lisa Parsons