Book Review: Voices from Colonial America, Delaware

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

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• California
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• The 13 Colonies
• U.S. States
• The Making of the 50 States

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The story of the development of the Delaware colony is a serpentine one, encompassing settlements by a handful of European countries. Describing this back-and-forth, which included struggles with various Native American tribes as well, can be difficult. Yet the author of this book navigates this labyrinth well and informatively. The result is a highly pleasant retelling of how Delaware, a tiny yet powerful colony, became one of the original United States.

The Dutch, Swedes, and British are involved. So are the Lenni-Lenape and the Nanticoke. So is William Penn. The similarity of the settlements and the disagreements between these various parties is sometimes overwhelming—not so in this book. It's all as cleaer as day, with fascinating and fantastic images (including several fabulously detailed maps) to illustrate the well-constructed and readable prose.

Once the British occupation of the Delaware colony is sorted out, the story becomes a familiar one, with the French and Indian War and the horrible taxation that resulted from the British victory therein, up to and through the Revolutionary War and the signing of the Constitution, of which Delaware was the first to ratify. Yet the story doesn't seem all that familiar because it is told in such a satisfying way.

This really is a fantastic book, full of fun details, like elaboration on the Blue Hens, the Mason-Dixon Line, the Brandywine Mills, Iron Hill, and the intense Patriot-Loyalist struggle that consumed Delaware for much of the Revolutionary War.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White