The worst change, he decided later that night, was that he hadn’t seen Caroline since the afternoon she had come to warn them about Francis. He prayed about it every night, but so far God hadn’t heard. “Please, God,” he thought once again. “Please don’t let her be the enemy. I miss her.”
Book: The Prisoner (Christian Heritage Series: The Williamsburg Years #4) by Nancy Rue, Focus on the Family Publishing, 1998
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 11-15
Subjects: Revolutionary War, Politics, Friendship, Reputation, Anger, Family Relationships, Secrets, Ethics
Summary: Exactly who IS the enemy? In this time of war, one household follows the patriot cause, another follows the loyalist cause. Thomas knew that Caroline’s parents followed the loyalist, but he was certain her brother, his instructor, his friend, his role model did not. Now a letter has arrived saying he has joined the loyalist army. So does mean Alexander is now his enemy? What about Caroline? Is she the enemy? It seems like it… But that’s not all that’s causing trouble for Thomas. His father has determined it is time for him to attend the grammar school his brothers did, the grammar school with the mean teacher who wields a whip, a dunce cap and stool for anyone who displeases him. That same grammar school is where some definite enemies are attending. Some new boys have moved into town and formed a trio of trouble maker who throw snowballs containing rocks at young girls and attack those who won’t help them cheat in school. Thomas has quickly become their prime target. And his father isn’t around to help him out of this situation. He’s in Richmond – right where the loyalists are attacking! He can’t turn to Dr. Quincey for help either because one of the leaders of the patriot army is imprisoning Dr. Quincey for being a Quaker and refusing to fight. Malcome is caught up in all the war movements. Thomas is really all on his own.
Notes: This story focuses on the life of a young boy growing up as a patriot during the time of the Revolutionary War. His best friend and teacher are loyalists – some of the only ones in town, so he finds himself in the midst of much tension there. Then there’s tension within his own home as his father tends towards a more peaceful approach and his brother is determined to run off and join the army. It’s a story of growing up, and a story of growing in knowledge of and relationship with God. In this book, Thomas has to figure out how to respond to those who believe differently about the war than he does. In a time when most believe that anyone who does not share their beliefs about the war is an enemy to be hated, it’s hard for Thomas to figure out how to deal with the situation. Thomas realizes he isn’t alone though – that God hasn’t, and won’t, leave him and turns there for wisdom on what to do.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Romans 12:2 –2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.