5 Rockstars of the American Revolution

Christina Frei
Vervante (2012) 
ISBN 9780985464639
Reviewed by M. Cristina Lanzi for Reader Views (02/14)

I’ve never really been a big fan of history. I am Italian and I grew up studying the Romans, the lives of the emperors and, it goes without saying, their countless battles. In Italy, American history is taught only superficially, that’s why when I first saw the cover of “5 Rockstars of the American Revolution” by Christina Frei, I immediately thought that it would be my chance to learn more about America’s founders.

Paul Revere, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin - everybody knows their names and their importance in American history, but how many people realize that they were also normal people filled with passions and fears, friends and enemies?  Apparently some of these founding fathers had really bad tempers.  How many people realized that besides having a vision for their community, these leaders also had wives and families?

In this educative and fun book Christina Frei revisits history, presenting the founding fathers in their true light. The author uses a friendly writing style and a graspable language that relates well to students.  Usually history textbooks are loaded with boring facts and dates, but Christina Frei was truly able to bring life to this subject and entertain as well as educate the reader.  I was surprised to find exercises and activities in each chapter; the idea being to help the kids discover their inner abilities and learn from the example of these five important Americans. 

The author talks to kids about accepting their ordinary side and going beyond it, i.e., when she says, “we can’t all be great at everything!”  The most important lesson that Christina Frei gives through this book is that each of the five “rockstars” had a “secret sauce” that brought them to succeed in life, and how we can find our own secret sauce.  
I would recommend “5 Rockstars of the American Revolution” by Christina Frei as a complementary school textbook.  When history is fun and engaging, it’s a lot easier to get kids interested.

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