Justin Conkey was too young to fight in the Revolution of 1776, but now it is 1787 and he is fourteen. Justin is ready to fight, even if he has only his father's old sword to protect him. But once on the battlefield, war is not what he expected. It is dangerous and frightening and nothing makes sense. Throughout a particularly bitter winter the young man is desperate to prove that he too can be a hero—not realizing that many times heroes turn out to be just ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, who do what comes naturally to save others regardless of risk to themselves. Insisting on joining General Daniel Shays' group of Regulators, he lies about his age and marches with the group throughout New England. But war puts friendships and political convictions to the test.
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by James Lincoln Collier
by Christopher Hacker
"In Massachusetts in 1786, 14-year-old Justin longs to be a hero like his brother-in-law, Peter, who recently returned from fighting in the Revolution. Narrator Charlie Thurston's delivery is methodical and precise, with distinct voices for each character. Postwar economic depression results in higher taxes, causing farmers to become so debt ridden that they either foreclose on mortgages or end up in debtors' prison. After an organized attempt by Captain Shays and local farmers to close down county courts, the rebellion becomes an armed insurrection. Thurston's portrayal of Justin's fears and conviction is spot-on. The majority of the story is done well, but moments in the heat of battle are oddly unemotional. Nonetheless, the listening experience is an enjoyable way to learn about this important historical event. M.F.T. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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