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Washington's War: Blast to the Past    by Stacia Deutsch & Rhody Cohon Amazon.com order for
Washington's War
by Stacia Deutsch
Order:  USA  Can
Aladdin, 2007 (2007)
Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

The kids in Mr. Caruthers's history class are back in action. Abigail, Bo, Zack, and Jacob are four members of Mr. C.'s history club, and their secret mission is to stop famous people in history from quitting when the going gets tough. They have to battle the evil Babs Magee, whose goal it is to steal the glory from historical figures, so that she'll be famous instead. In short, she tries to make them quit. The kids have helped out everyone from Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln to Walt Disney and Martin Luther King, Jr.. Now, in the latest book in the Blast to the Past series, the history club is out to save George Washington in one of his darkest moments.

Blast to the Past: Washington's War begins in the freezing misery of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The Continental Army is cold and hungry. It is seemingly facing insurmountable odds in the fight for freedom against Britain. Without adequate supplies, having suffered several losses in a row, and faced with a rapidly disintegrating army, Washington is writing his resignation. This is how the kids find him after traveling back in time, with the help of Mr. C.'ís time machine. Martha Washington is even making firecakes for the Washingtons' journey home to Mount Vernon, and the wagon is ready. The kids need to act fast. Their sometimes funny, and sometimes serious, journey needs to be completed within two hours, or they'll be stuck in the past forever. Using their combined strengths, they take Washington into the future, proving to him his need to press on, despite the difficulties.

Authors Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon do another wonderful job of making history exciting for kids. Like the rest of their books in the Blast to the Past series, this one is chock full of historical facts. However, kids won't feel like they are reading a dull encyclopedia. Instead, interesting information is scattered throughout the book in clue-like fashion, leading both kids and adults to turn the next page. The Blast to the Past books would make wonderful additions to any classroom library, as fun stories to accompany units. They also make great reading at home. The kids in the books not only illustrate important historical times, but they also work together to solve problems - a valuable lesson at any time in history.

2nd Review by Jessica Maguire (Rating:2):

Grade schoolers Abigail and her friends, Jacob, Zack, and Bo, have their hands full between their regular classes and History Club. Their History Club isn't just any club either. Run by their ever so cool teacher, Mr. Caruthers (Mr. C for short), the History Club dabbles in time travel!

The kids' most recent adventure finds them traveling back in time to help George Washington. Burned out and tired of war, George wants to give up, thus changing the past ... and future ... forever. It is up to Abigail and the boys to convince the former President to stay at Valley Forge and fight on.

But General Washington proves to be rather stubborn and the kids cannot convince him that he will achieve victory and go on to be President of the United States. So, the children hatch a devious and possibly dangerous plan. Washington will time travel with them back to the future where he (Washington) will see all the good that came about from his not giving up in the Revolutionary War.

Will the children's plan work? And will they be back from their adventure in time for school? After all, they only have just a short hour or so to achieve their goal and get back to their world. Read on and find out for yourself!

I found the illustrations rather endearing and the writing easy for young readers (ages eight to ten years old) to follow in this chapter book. I do like the twist in story line of this series. Presenting historical facts through time travel is an interesting idea that livens up the story.

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