Monday, January 11, 2016

Caesar Rodney's Ride: The Story of an American Patriot


I signed my daughter up for a Lemi Liberty Key homeschool class this year. The  class is based on American Liberty and covers early American History.   As part of this class, she was given an assignment to role play Caesar Rodney for a reenactment of the 2nd Continental Congress.  I have to admit, I had no idea who Caesar Rodney was. I felt a little cheated to have never learned about him in my public school education years.  I was even more disappointed when I went to my local library and could not find a single book that mentioned Caesar Rodney. Fortunately the library ladies were kind enough to order in Caesar Rodney's Ride for us.

Caesar Rodney was a patriot that took a ride just as important as the ride that Paul Revere and William Dawes took.  Caesar's ride was to the 2nd Continental Congress to vote for independence from England.  Without Caesar's vote there may not have been a need  for Paul Revere and William Dawes to ride.

Book Summary:

On the afternoon of July 1, 1776, Caesar Rodney received a letter from a fellow Delaware delegate urging him to return to Philadelphia  at once. The congress was on the verge of casting the vote for independence. Battling bad weather and physical handicaps, Caesar Rodney embarked on a journey that would change the course of history. Here is the dramatic story of that ride, set against the extraordinary events of July 1776, with the remarkable men who shaped them, including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Caesar Rodney. With exquisitely detailed watercolors by Gary Lippincott, Jan Cheripko presents the burning issues of that time, the men who fought for them, and the story of the great patriot whose breakneck ride for freedom served to ensure the birth of the United States.
Caesar Rodney's Ride is an easy read geared toward elementary age students.  Through out the book the author has placed pieces of information about what was happening in the country before the Revolutionary War. The book tells of Caesar's grueling 80 mile carriage and horseback ride to cast his crucial vote for independence. The book details the importance of his vote, but really does not go into a lot of information on the life of Rodney. I was left wanting to know a little bit about who this patriot was. The illustrations are descriptive of the colonial clothing and furniture and add a nice touch to the book.

I would recommend this title for its focus on heroism and self sacrificing by an American patriot but I would not recommend it if you are looking for biographical information on Caesar Rodney as it is lacking on details of his life.

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