Author: Stephen Yoch
Publisher: Wise Ink Publishing
Type of book: Pre-revolutionary America, French and Indian Wars, treatment of colonists in America, George Washington, ranking in army, politics, 1747-1759, honor, differences between traditional and new tactics
Year it was published: 2016
George Washington, action hero . . .
Long before Washington was the old man on the dollar bill, he was a fatherless boy with few resources and even less education. So how did he become the most famous person in American history?
Becoming George Washington tells the story of a young man with boundless energy, bravery, and passion, who grew from a fatherless boy into a self-confident leader. At the same time, he struggled to suppress both an awful temper and his love for a married woman, Sally Fairfax. A courageous war hero, Washington rose to the pinnacle of Virginia politics. His experiences as a young man allowed him, decades later, to lead the Revolution.
This compelling historical novel reveals the person behind the famous face and how he grew to become America’s leading Founding Father.
While quite a lot of characters populate the story, a few strong ones really stand out. Main character is George Washington to whom loyalty and honor are more important than personal happiness. He is an outdoorsy person as well as loyal and very observant and someone who has litte to no desire to repeat the mistakes of his failures. He is also tempermental and rash in a lot of cases. Lawrence is George's older half-brother to whom George is loyal to and promises to take care of the estate that becomes known as Mount Vernon. The Colonel is a mentor and a father figure to George who gives George advice and opportunities to prove himself and shine through. Christopher Gist is a scout that George has worked with on many occasions and that proves very invaluable to George Washington. Unfortunately there weren't a lot of women in the story, and they weren't explored as deeply as one wished for them to be. Main women would be George Washington's mother who is best described as some sort of tempermental shrew who has an extremely strained relationship with her older son; there is also Sally Fairfax who is George's first love and happens to be married. She tends to be coquettish and often plays with George's feelings towards her; the last woman, Martha Dandridge Custis is a practical woman who is very different than Sally Fairfax and is also straightforward in her opinions and emotions and she also shows herself to be capable of taking care of plantation, the household and her children.
Its important to do the right thing
The story is in third person narrative from George Washington's point of view and it takes place from 1747 up to 1759 and goes into a great amount of detail of what caused George Washington to become the man when he shaped so much after American Revolution and its written in a chronological order. I found the writing style and the story to be very engaging and not once was I bored while reading the story and learning about the pre-America of mid 1700s. I do admit that certain elements did make me uncomfortable with the story, namely the emphasis on whom you know to get opportunities in order to succeed, and I also imagine that for those who are not of American-European race, this might not be a comfortable read due to issues of slavery and the way British and French use Native American groups for their vendettas.
About the Author
Before I begin my opinion, can I ask a quick question? Is the author planning on continuing to write about George Washington through British fights, American Revolution and so forth? I do so hope he will. I'll be honest in saying that I never really cared too much about American history, unfortunately. When I was in school, due to my background, I felt very excluded from the history that is supposed to unify both Americans and immigrants alike, and I couldn't really identify or really care about the people that we were forced to learn about. (It also didn't help that the founding fathers of America were portrayed as men without faults or ones who make mistakes, which made alienation seem even more obvious; what could I, an immigrant from Russia, learn from these men, and why would I want to learn anything about them?) When I began to read the story, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the more I read, the more I realized that this book is a gem that is bound to make anyone look at George Washington and the founding of America in a different light instead of the whitewashed glorified versions they are always seen by history. George Washington is written with faults and as a human being, which means that a lot of people will be able to identify with him and the numerous situations that befall him from forbidden love to feeling unappreciated by superiors. I also could understand the seeds of American Revolution and why the colonists rebelled. A very worthwhile tale to read and to teach to if you'd like for kids to gain more passion for history in America.
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5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)