In 1777, as General Burgoyne and his British troops invade the Upper Hudson River Valley, sixteen-year-old Amity must carry a secret message to the Continental army to give warning of an impending attack.
In this suspenseful novel set in New York of 1777, the events swirling around the Battles of Saratoga propel a young American girl into a dramatic test of her courage, loyalty, and love. When a secret letter falls into the hands of sixteen-year-old Amity Spencer, the ordinary farm girl is thrust upon a dangerous journey to pass the letter to the Continental Army. On the lookout for spies and traitors, she must also puzzle out her feelings for a handsome peddler with secrets of his own. Betsy Sterman has written two novels for younger readers with her husband, Samuel: Backyard Dragon and Too Much Magic. Betsy Sterman lives in Chappaqua, New York.
"...readers who prefer their historical fiction served up with a generous portion of romance will savor this title."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - Elizabeth Bush (01/19/1999)
Gr 4-8-A historical novel set around the Battle of Saratoga, considered to be a turning point of the Revolutionary War. Amity Spencer is a 16-year-old farm girl who stays with her mother and baby brother while her father goes off with the other men and boys of her community to fight the British. A neighboring farm boy thought to have been killed in battle shows up on the Spencer's doorstep with a tale of how he survived and news that someone they thought they could trust is a traitor. The young patriot also carries an inadvertently obtained letter that tells of an imminent attack by Burgoyne's troops. He is too weak to travel, so Amity must get the letter to the generals of the American Army. The book presents a good picture of rural life and the realities of war and its effects on civilians, and also attempts to put a human face on the idea of "the enemy." The writing is sometimes awkward, as is the case in many historical novels in which an author tries to give the dialog an old-fashioned tone, but the real sense of fear and danger is sustained throughout. Amity's play at intrigue as well as her confused romantic feelings towards another character keep the story moving. A solid book for assignments or for readers who want to go beyond the "Dear America" series (Scholastic).