Liberty-Loving Lafayette - Book Review

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Book Review of :  Liberty-Loving Lafayette


Liberty-Loving Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen, is a unique, poetic, historical presentation of how "America's Favorite Fighting Frenchman" contributed to winning American Independence. Jensen's well-researched and accurate history is presented in a lyrical, poetic rhyme scheme reminiscent of Longfellow's "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." The playful hip-hop style will fascinate students as well as engage adults.

Readers learn that young Lafayette was intrigued by America's struggle for independence from British rule. He left his young wife, Adrienne, and traveled to Britain before secretly purchasing a ship named Victory and sailing to the New World. He arrived in Philadelphia, with the title of Major General and offered his assistance to the Continental forces, but was disheartened to learn that his offer was not seriously considered.

Eventually, Lafayette was admitted into the army and became a friend of General George Washington. He accompanied Washington at the Battle of Brandywine and showed his grit as he rallied the men to fight. However, he was injured by a musket ball in his leg, but after brief medical attention, he returned to the army, where he found he had gained his peers' respect. Readers learn that young Lafayette became a trusted leader and accompanied General Washington to Valley Forge. Later, he was sent as an ambassador to France, where he was instrumental in obtaining more of France's assistance in the Revolution. His interaction with General Cornwallis after his return to America set the scene for independence.

The text is lavishly illustrated with reproductions of classic historical paintings identified by the museums where they are on view for the public. Jensen masterfully interweaves these colorful prints into her narrative. They showcase the opulent fashion worn by subjects written about in the book, such as Lafayette, his wife, King Louis XVI, Washington, and many more. Many visuals of the historic battles are also included.

In addition, the author includes an extensive glossary for young readers. End notes and study questions enable the reader to understand better the historical events and individuals involved.

Jensen's book, Liberty-Loving Lafayette, offers a delightful and substantial reading experience. With its easily understandable storytelling and wealth of information, this book has the potential to ignite a new interest in history, captivating both students and adults alike. Jensen's spirited and poetic narration engages readers, making it an ideal classroom resource. As readers dive into this treasure trove of knowledge, they will gain valuable insights into the pivotal moments that shaped our nation. Whether you are a student seeking enlightenment or an adult looking for a satisfying and useful read, this book is not to be missed. It is a unique addition to school libraries and to the collections of history buffs of all ages. The author suggests that middle and high schoolers would enjoy performing this poem in a hip-hop style.

Reviewed by: carole

About Dorothea Jensen


A former teacher, Dorothea Jensen has been studying the American Revolution since the early 1980s, and Lafayette in particular since the late 1990s. She has written two award-winning historical novels for young readers about the Revolution: A Buss from Lafayette, and The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. Her passion for history and her delight in versifying led her to create this unique rhyming history for readers of all ages.

Visit for more information on Dorothea Jensen


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