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When needing a user-friendly and enjoyable Colonial Boston occupations resource, this is a great find! Interwoven in the prose are subtle messages about the undercurrents of those turbulent times in Boston, spoken by the characters whose jobs you learn about. Colorful and clear illustrations enhance this knowledge. I first located it in our school library, but I knew I immediately wanted my own copy!
"Colonial Voices" is an imaginative and eye-catching way to introduce children to American history. Kay Winters does this by creating stories "told" by children who lived in Boston just before the American Revolution. I was especially impressed that these stories didn't avoid some of the hard truths about being a child in Colonial Day -- the Errand Boy who was on his own when his mother died in childbirth and his Dad was at sea; the Silversmith's Apprentice who was orphaned, as well. The Tavern Keeper tells her story when, with her daughter, she takes over the tavern upon another loss. Winters doesn't mince words in "The Basket Trader" or "The Blacksmith's Slave," but does so at a level that children can appreciate. This book is a perfect example of Kay Winters' ability to write gripping stories for children without talking down to them. She gives her young readers a chance to take a trip through colonial Boston in an exciting --and dangerous -- time so often rushed through in normal history classes. Larry Day's illustrations beautifully capture the mood and color of the period, and show a huge amount of research in his use of clothing, household details, and tools of the time.