By Elvira Woodruff
166 pages -ages 9+
Published by Scholastic in 2010 (originally published in 1993)
Matt had always heard of the creepy legend of Levart Lake. On moonlit nights people disappear at the lake and are never seen again. He was horrified when he saw his little sister Katie trying to get into a row-boat on the lake…on a moonlit night. As he ran to the lake with his friends, Tony, Hooter and “Q”, all the kids fell into a trance and they ALL ended up in the row-boat. The next thing they knew they were transported back in time to 1776 and were now in the middle of the Delaware River the night before General Washington crossed it in the Battle of Trenton in the Revolutionary War. The children get separated and Matt is thought to be a soldier. He is now marching with Washington’s army while trying to find his little sister and his friends!
I really liked the whole time travel part to this story. I like how modern kids get to tell about historical events from their point of view. The author did a good job of describing how harsh the conditions of war were and how brave the men who fought in the war were. I really got a good idea of what it was like on the night Washington made his famous crossing of the Delaware. The book also had some funny parts to it that made the story a little less serious in a few parts and that helped it. I liked the relationship between Matt and his sister (kind of love/hate). I would recommend the book to kids 9+ in age. There are some intense descriptions of the war and one part where a soldier boy who Matt made friends with died in Matt’s arms that was pretty emotional (the boy died of a foot infection from having no shoes). I liked the history I learned from the book, like who the Hessians were.