What Was the Boston Tea Party? Written by Kathleen Krull. Illustrated by Lauren Mortimer. Cover illustration by James Bennett. Grosset & Dunlap, An Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2013. 128 pages. Publisher recommends for ages 8-12. ISBN: 9780448462882.
I learned about the Boston Tea Party in elementary school many years ago. Now I only remember that a bunch of people in Boston got mad at the British and dumped a lot of tea in the Boston harbor.
In “What Was the Boston Tea Party?” one can almost hear the drumbeat of events starting at the end of the French and Indian War and leading to the Boston Tea Party. To begin with, the British, who had never levied direct taxes against the colonists, demanded the colonists pay for the French and Indian war and levied the Stamp Tax to collect payment. As soon as the Stamp Tax ended, due to universal protest among the colonists, the Townshend Acts passed. In order to keep the colonists in line, British troops were sent to Boston. However, this only enraged the colonists further. British troops had previously only been used to protect the colonists, not police them. One event like this followed another. Kathleen Krull makes clear, by marching through each of these events, that the Boston Tea Party was inevitable. And the Boston Tea Party was, she says “one of the most powerful protests ever, rocking the world and in time leading to the birth of a whole new country.”
I thought the Boston Tea Party was a chaotic event. Not so! It was very well planned and well-orchestrated and it was quiet. It was also a nonviolent event and is thus significant to the nonviolent political movements that followed.
The book spends a bit of time after the Boston Tea Party explaining the events between the tea party, in 1773, and the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775.
In the middle of the book there are 16 pages of photographs and photos of paintings including portraits of leaders of the Revolutionary War and pictures that record well known events such as an engraving by Paul Revere of the Boston Massacre.
The illustrations are pen and ink with details that add to the story.
In the back of the book there is a timeline of the Boston Tea Party as well as a timeline of the world. There is a bibliography which includes both books and websites. Unfortunately, there is no index.
I am so glad to know the context of the Boston Tea Party. It enhances my appreciation of the generation of Americans that included our founding fathers.