This series of four books is a historical fiction series based
on the life of Annie Henry, the daughter of Patrick Henry, one
of the fathers of the American Revolution. The entire series is
set in the late 1700's right at the time of the beginning and during
the Revolutionary War. Susan Olasky has done an excellent job creating
a living history series that takes young people back into the era
of our country's birth with intriguing and realistic characters
and relatable crises mixed with enough historical facts to educate
clandestinely. As most historical war novels tend to revolve around
male protagonists, it is refreshing to follow a female figure through
the trials and victories of one of our country's historical eras.
Annie is a character that most girls will find relevant and enjoyable.
The first book, Annie Henry and the Secret
us to Annie and her family, including her famous father, Patrick
Henry. Patrick Henry travels a lot with his growing role in the
colonies and ten year old Annie is often at odds with her older
sister, who is trying to run the family while their mother is gravely
ill and their father is away. Annie manages to save her father's
wheat crop from a fire and her father from a Tory spy. She also
weathers some severe family and personal crises, learning valuable
lessons along the way.
Book two, Annie Henry and the Birth of Liberty, finds Annie taking
more leadership and learning more responsibility as her father
is gone and has been declared a traitor. Her older sister gets
married and has a baby and Annie needs to rise to several difficult
In book three, Annie Henry and the Mysterious
is slightly older and carrying more responsibility. She moves to
Williamsburg with her father who has been elected governor and
takes up the residence, and the expectations, of a politician's
daughter. Annie is also dealing with changes in herself as she
grows up. While these things are a little frightening, they aren't
nearly as frightening as the stranger who keeps lurking nearby.
In the final book, Annie Henry and the Redcoats, Annie and her
family move to the frontier to get away from the Revolutionary
War, which has been waging for several years. Annie's new stepmother
is a blessing in her life, as are the new siblings she now has
as she matures to adulthood. Annie later moves to Richmond to help
care for some young cousins and meets two men that impact her life--one
negatively and one positively. Benedict Arnold cements her passion
for freedom and the revolution through his negative example. Spencer
Roane plays a pivotal role in the rest of her life.
This series is an outstanding account of the Revolutionary era
through the eyes of a young woman who witnessed it. I highly recommend
these books, particularly for middle school girls.