Revolutionary Anna

Children - Grade 4th-6th
60 Pages
Reviewed on 05/19/2023
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Author Biography

Tracy Lawson wanted to be an author since she was a little girl. For most of her adult life, she worked as a dance teacher and a choreographer in educational theater. Revolutionary Anna is her eleventh book, and the first written for young readers. Tracy and her husband live in Wylie, TX. They have one grown daughter.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kayleigh Perumal for Readers' Favorite

Revolutionary Anna by Tracy Lawson is a short children's historical fiction book, based on a true story, that immerses readers in the American Revolution. One cold night in 1825, Anna and Benjamin Stone are sitting around the fire with their four grandchildren; Hannah, Benjamin, Thomas, and Margaret. Anna tells them the story of when she was given the important task of delivering a letter to General Washington in 1778 to save his job. Anne knew that the fate of her husband, Benjamin, and the other American soldiers lay in her hands. Bravely, Anna rides through the Valley Forge on her trusty horse, Nelly. Even when she’s being chased by a dangerous pursuer, she does not give up and tries to outsmart his every move. Will Anna make it to the camp in one piece and succeed in her mission?

Tracy Lawson transforms a story that has been passed down from generations in her family into an enjoyable piece of literature that commemorates the event and solidifies her ancestor’s legacy forever. The author merges oral history with imaginative storytelling to form a compelling narrative. Anna’s story portrays the backdrop of the American war using the lens of a normal family, which enables readers to delve into their lived experiences. The pencil illustrations, which are done by the talented Larissa Coriell, complement the story perfectly. Revolutionary Anna is a heart-warming tale of courage and resilience that weaves the past with family, history, and heritage. It is a must-read for anyone who enjoys drama and realism.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

“Grandma, did you meet George Washington? How did you save his job? Did we really almost lose the Revolution?” Young people are full of questions. Many of their questions revolve around what their parents and grandparents did when they were younger. Sometimes it’s difficult to picture a grandmother in a serious role other than being an elderly woman and a grandparent. Take Hannah’s grandmother. On a cold winter’s night, the family gathers around the hearth to listen to stories, and this time Grandma shares hers, the story about how she risked her life to get a message to General Washington and, in the process, saved her husband’s life as well. Perhaps, even the revolution, too.

Tracy Lawson’s middle-grade novel, Revolutionary Anna, is a fascinating story about a young wife and mother, Anna Stone, who played her own part in the success of the American Revolution. Set in Virginia, the plot begins with family time at the end of the day when stories are shared. The warmth of the hearth and the warmth of the love shared by the family are accentuated by the interest the young people show in listening to their grandmother's stories. As Grandma launches into her tale, she becomes young Anna, and the adventure begins. The story is told with lots of dialogue and storytelling techniques to keep young readers focused and interested. At the end of Anna’s storytelling, the family shares their thoughts on what they learned from their grandmother’s story, reflecting on the importance of freedom, working together for the common good, and the steep price this inflicts. This is a great story to both educate and entertain.

Essien Asian

Grandpa and Grandma gather the children around at night to share in the warmth and enjoy a tale or two from the past. This time the children want to hear something special, a tale like none told before now so Grandma digs deep into her memory and comes out with a special story about a beautiful young lady who missed her brothers and the man she loved while they were away at war. In a bid to play her part in the freedom struggle, she took on a role that changed the outcome of the war. But this is not just a war heroine story. It is one with a much deeper significance to the children as they are about to discover in Tracy Lawson's Revolutionary Anna.

Tracy Lawson takes a cue from the old tradition of passing down history in the form of stories where people reminisce about events that transpired during the American War of Independence with their descendants to create a beautiful account focused on love and devotion to duty. She effortlessly blends key events in the war with fictional characters to create a nostalgic storyline without giving away too much of the obvious. Lawson paints a vivid picture of the harsh realities of the war as it affected the overall welfare of the troops. Impressive though it is, the tale is not gory but simplified in an honest sort of way that is easy for even the younger ones to appreciate fully. Revolutionary Anna is a story that all who read will enjoy irrespective of their leanings.