Title: Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May?
Author: Jean Fritz
Major Themes: Patrick Henry, Biography, Picture Books, American Revolution
Synopsis: Fun pictures help to tell the story of this famous patriot’s life.
Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? is another one of Jean Fritz’s delightful picture books about characters from early American history. She has a knack for digging out little-known facts, as well as the things we all know about these people, and making them into a fun story that we can remember. For example, when we were reading a historical novel about Patrick Henry’s daughter, and mention was made that her mother was ill and confined to her room, someone remembered what this book had to say about the woman’s mental illness. Having read this book before that novel made the novel more meaningful, as we compared the two accounts.
So, where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? On that day in 1736, he was born! In 1752, when he turned 16, he was running a store—but that didn’t last very long. In 1765, when he turned 29, he already had four children. Meanwhile, he had become a lawyer and discovered that he was an eloquent speaker. Soon, he was using those skills in the cause of liberty—and if you know history, you know the rest of the story.
As with all of Jean Fritz’s books about American history, the facts about Patrick Henry are presented in an entertaining way. The pictures are fairly simple, yet do a good job of showing his life in a memorable way. I recommend Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? to go along with a study of American history, as well as for just fun reading!
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12