According to www.daysoftheyear.com, Gunpowder Day, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is a day commemorated in the United Kingdom on November 5th. In 1605, Guy Fawkes and others plotted to blow up Britain’s parliament. But today’s review is for a picture book about a gunpowder explosion that took place in the U.S. in 1818.
This reimagined tale of the true story of the explosion at Eleutherian Mills in 1818, intended for the older elementary-aged reader, is an exciting read that combines fact with fiction. Children will want to turn every page to find out if, and how, the Du Pont family make their way to safety after a powder mill explosion. Once the fictional story ends, children will want to know more about the explosion and the Du Ponts. Fortunately, they can! The author includes several pages of back matter to supplement the text which includes details and background on each Du Pont family member, information about water power and the mills, details about the path of the “great explosion,” an explanation on the national importance of black powder, a glossary of terms, a copy of an actual letter from one of the Du Pont sisters, and resources to learn more. Ilona Holland’s suspenseful tale plus thorough back matter pair perfectly with Judy Love’s detailed, realistic illustrations that depict early 19th Century America. Looking for an exciting way to engage young readers while teaching them a bit about history? This is the book for you!
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Heather is a busy wife and mom of five rambunctious children and one lovable pup They all provide lots of distractions, but oodles of inspiration. Sometimes the pictures and ideas in her head turn into her own children's stories, but she always makes time to read other people's books. Sometimes she reviews them here.