Redcoats and Petticoats

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Description: When the American Revolution arrives in Thomas Strong’s sleepy Long Island village, his life is turned upside down. His church becomes a fort for the British, and a company of Redcoats are quartered in his family’s home. But worst of all, his father is arrested as a traitor and taken away. It’s no wonder that Thomas’s mother seems to have been affected in the head. She washes and rewashes handkerchiefs and petticoats so that her clothesline is continually full of laundry. The errands on which she sends Thomas are not only peculiar but dangerous, since they take him right past a Redcoat encampment. At first Thomas doesn’t know what to make of his mother’s behavior, but as he keeps his eyes and ears open, he begins to suspect that things are not necessarily as they seem. Katherine Kirkpatrick’s captivating story is based on the Culper Spy Ring, which operated on Long Island and in Connecticut from 1778 – 1783. Its purpose was to send messages to General George Washington about the activities of the British Army in New York City. Ronald Himler’s dramatic watercolor illustrations bring this pivotal period of U.S. history to life for contemporary readers.

Hardcover, 32 pages. Reading age 7-9