Born as twins thirteen years prior, Alexander and Amanda Lee had been inseparable since that time. They had grown up in a loving household, a small farm in Virginia during the 1700′s. Both found safety and support on this farm; as part of a famous family, their parents were able to provide them with a well-developed education, including tutoring in language and literature. They grew to be more than simply intelligent and learned, though. Through the attention of their parents and congregants of their local church, both Alexander and Amanda became quite skillful in the use of guns as well as hard labor on the farm. Throughout it all, the virtues of faith, patriotism and family became the focus of their lives.
When revolution swept through the colonies, however, they knew that they must be a part of the battle for independence from Britain. Having been brought up with stories of their famous uncle, Richard Lee, they wanted to experience all that the larger world had to offer, despite the dangers of war. Finding a way to join the battle became a passion for both. A larger boy, Alexander would be able to pass for sixteen, old enough to enlist properly in the Continental Army. Through a bit more trickery and cunning, Amanda would soon follow, learning fighting skills that would be necessary for the victory of the burgeoning military of the country that would be America. Along the way, they would meet the most illustrious figures of the time, including General Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Despite the challenges that they faced over the years, Alexander and Amanda remained true to their values as well as each other.
In Fighting for Freedom and General Washington, Michael Justin Lee provides readers with an engrossing, historically-based novel for young adults. Although a tale of two youthful twins entering war might seem questionable at first glance, the plot is well executed and believable, avoiding many of the common pitfalls found in similar writings. The introduction of historical figures such as Washington and Franklin is not contrived but rather accurate based on their writings as well as their activities during the war. Too, these entrances of famous founding fathers and fighters are smoothly written and steer clear of lengthy paragraphs of explanatory material. Additionally, the language of the novel is appropriate for the time period and still readily understandable by today's young readers. All things considered, Lee's novel has a well-paced plot, enjoyable writing style, and certainly maintains a historical accuracy in its presentation.
Indeed, Lee has done an amazing job of writing a historical novel for young adults that will teach, inspire, and entertain. In a market that seems dominated by zombies and vampires, his Fighting for Freedom and General Washington definitely will appeal to more conservative readers who will appreciate the values that form the basis for the work. Parents-especially those that are homeschooling or perhaps simply want to spur some interest in American history among their children-will find this novel a perfect starting point for discussion or perhaps a companion to related study. Written for younger readers, this novel is also appropriate for adult readers who want an easy and patriotic read. Michael Justin Lee's Fighting for Freedom and General Washington offers something for every reader and is a welcome addition to the young adult books now available.