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Set during America’s revolution, the fictitious journal of Nathan Ross is a compelling coming-of-age tale. Nathan fills these pages with anecdotes and illustration of his family on their farm, in their smithy, and with their companions. A steady stream of war news inflames Nathan’s desires to fight alongside their valiant older brother, while their sister, Abigail, challenges the social restrictions of her time.
Risks to loved ones and the shock of traitors among friends intensifies their determination until they make the choices that change their lives forever. This novel is not only for young adult readers. It is for anyone who wants to experience the uncertainties, hardships, and courage that founded a nation.
Meet the Characters
Soon after his parents give nine-year-old Nathan Ross a journal to fill, war breaks out. Nathan spends the next eight years filling his journal with the uncertainties of his time: a terrifying new treatment for the infection that is killing people around him; less food, supplies, and equipment; an older brother fighting far from home; a sister rebelling against her social restrictions; and war news adding to the family’s fears. Then the time comes for Nathan fight.
Nathan’s older sister, Abigail, struggles against the divided nature that has her embracing traditions, while struggling against social norms. After their father decides that Abigail and her mother need to learn to shoot, Nathan writes, “Mother stared at the rifle and frowned. Abigail reached for it . . . The more targets my sister hit, the more I suspected that someone, perhaps Jeremy or Tommy, had already instructed her.”
After a lifetime of cruelty and heartbreak, Caesar becomes the property of the Ross family—people who never before owned or wanted a slave. All of them have new roles to learn as Caesar, more than the family, understands the risks they take when crossing racial divides.
Nathan’s parents, Martha and Joseph, and his brother Jeremy, are divided about the war, having a slave, and their responsibilities to their colonies. While political issues divide them, it is their love for each other that must hold their family together.
Meet the Author and Artists
Frances Applequist was born in Newark, New Jersey, and lived in different towns across the state. As a young mother, she fell in love with the rich colonial history of the area and haunted historical sites with her family. After careers as college instructors in New Jersey, Frances and her husband moved to North Carolina to continue teaching. This novel is the culmination of the people and events in Frances’s life and she is excited to share this act of love with you.
It can easily be said that Daniel Bode was born to be an artist. From an early age he exhibited a natural ability to transform many forms of media into amazing art. Already a detail oriented practitionary, his love of history – especially the Revolutionary War period in America – further refines these illustrations with the historians eye for accuracy. You can see more of his wide array of work by visting Daniel Bode Portraiture.
Nathan Bode & Ruth Jampol have teamed up to blend tradtional art and digital media into format for modern consumption. Their work in digitizing and enhancing the original artwork for the book has created the unique feel for this soon-to-be classic book.