Thursday, July 10, 2008

King George: What Was His Problem?

I know I'm a week late for a Independence Day-themed post, but what the heck. I found this title a few months back and put it in the back of my mind thinking I would get it for my oldest daughter to have a fun way to teach her about the American Revolution. "King George: What Was His Problem?" by Steve Sheinkin is a book that tells you all the good stuff that textbooks leave out. Sheinkin used to be a textbook writer and over the years, he accumulated piles of interesting facts that the textbook companies had no interest in putting in their books. It was a very fun read, but of no interest to my daughter. Oh well.

Most of what I remembered about the Revolution before reading this book included who was the general (George Washington), when the Declaration of Independence was signed (7/4/1776), and who won (Americans). Everything else was pretty fuzzy. After reading this book, I can tell you where the key battles were (Boston, Bunker Hill and Yorktown), who was the British general thought of as losing the war (Cornwallis) who was the coolest spy (James Armistead) and what happened to that nasty traitor, Benedict Arnold (became a British general, wandered about for a while, died in NYC). I know a bunch more but you should just read the book.

At only 150 pages, this was an easy read, but very informative. He writes in a storytelling style, making all the history much easier to absorb. There's pen drawings of the main players and my favorite was one of a German baroness. She looks so sassy and overfed.

I just read somewhere that Sheinkin wrote another book similar to this about the Civil War called "Two Miserable Presidents." It's going on the to-read list.


  1. I just picked mine up from the library yesterday. I tore through the first two chapters before I had to leave for Enrichment. I've never been this excited about history before!