Tuesday, December 09, 2008

King George: What Was His Problem? by Steve Sheinkin

King George: What Was His Problem? Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You about the American Revolution
by Steve Sheinkin
Illustrated by Tim Robinson
Copyright 2005/Illustrations 2008
Flash Point/Roaring Book Press - YA Nonfiction
195 pages incl. notes, quotes and index

If the title and cover of this book aren't enough to grab you, you must really hate history. I love history but I'm deficient in the subject matter and have spend a good portion of my adulthood trying to figure out how to overcome that annoying little educational black hole. Covers like that of King George: What Was His Problem? really knock my socks off. History presented in an offbeat, entertaining fashion? Irresistible.

The text and illustrations of King George: What Was His Problem? are every bit as enjoyable as the cover indicates. Clear, light-hearted and funny, told mostly in chronological order (sometimes the author sets a story aside and lets the reader know the relevance of characters and situations will become plain later on), Steve Sheinkin truly saved the best anecdotes from his years writing textbooks -- the human interest stories that make those characters of the Revolution three-dimensional rather than just a bunch of painted, stiff old guys in wigs. I don't believe it could possibly be more amusing and engaging. This passage made me laugh:

"Huzzah for the Americans" shouted the French soldiers. Then about a hundred American and French cannons opened fire. The French cannonballs smashed right into buildings in Yorktown. Many of the American cannonballs plopped into the river or landed in empty fields (the French had a lot more practice at this stuff).

I've got to go return this one to the library, quick like a bunny, before the raging storms that are allegedly bearing down upon us arrive. If we don't blow away, I'll be back to posting and visiting blogs, tomorrow. But, for now . . . off goes the computer. Have a lovely Tuesday!


  1. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Both the title and the cover grabbed me. Thanks for the review!

  2. The cover made me think of Dr. Seuss.

  3. Kathy,

    It's one I'm very glad I grabbed. :)


    I hadn't thought of that, I guess because they're caricatures of real people and Suess makes me think "crazy invented creatures," but there are some similarities, definitely!

  4. Anonymous2:24 PM

    How fun! I like history but I don't know much. I made a slight fool of myself at a party once when I met a history teacher and I told him all about a book I had just read about a battle in the Am Revolution and he knew everything already. SO much for showing off.

  5. Care,

    I would probably have done the same thing. That means you're enthusiastic. Know the feeling! I get so excited about books I enjoy that . . . well, you see where my blog title came from. I babble and can make a real fool of myself. If I didn't happen to be naturally timid, I'm sure it would be much worse! :)

  6. Sounds good. I will have to add it to the list. :)

  7. Anonymous6:00 PM

    That looks right up my alley.

    Enjoy Tuesday? Tuesdays are terrible! Terrible! Well not so much today but in general.

    Seven books? At once? Impressive. I keep picking up books I've read.

  8. Really, the newspeople are talking like this is the storm of the century! Always so dramatic...we'll see. It's supposed to hit here from 9-midnight. And then according to our weather man, the northshore may see a few flurries! Too bad I live on the southshore :(

  9. Anonymous10:23 PM

    hehhe! I was giggling at the cover and the title!
    it is cool and i love History..and coming to think about it.. i also have a education black hole ;)

  10. Kailana,

    It's a really fun little book. :)

    Carrie K,

    Well, I loved it. You probably know everything in the book, but I think you should definitely flip through it.

    I usually like Tuesdays and Mondays are kind of a wash, but yesterday was bizarrely good. I hauled limbs to the curb and the chipper immediately showed up. I got an Amazon order and I was expecting to have mistakenly ordered the wrong season of a series for the kiddo but it turned out okay. It was that kind of day. Today . . . noisy and somewhat scary, but not bad. :)

    Yeah, seven books. I keep looking for the men in white jackets. Oh, there's one . . . Chris.


    Speaking of guys who work in psychiatric hospitals, there you are. LOL I just read about the storm in the paper, so I didn't catch any drama but . . . wow, it was a noisy one. The good news is that I had a nice reading day. I'd say you can just haul a** up here, if we get snow, but how likely is that? By the time you get here, 50 people will have wrecked, but it'll all be melted. That's if it materializes. Gotta love the South. :)


    Isn't it cute?

    History is such fun to read about, particularly when it's presented well. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a black hole problem. :)

  11. This sounds like one that both Mr. Bybee and I would enjoy.

  12. Sounds like fun! A good way to learn to history.

    Hope your survived the storm -- in tact!

  13. Bybee,

    I actually forget you have a Mr. Bybee, now and then! It's a very fun little book. :)


    I really enjoyed it. Wish I could have talked the kiddo into reading it, before it was due, but he was busy with a chunkster of about 1000 pages.

    I haven't been outside to see if there's any damage, but the walls aren't dripping and I'm not walking through puddles, so I think we survived. It was a doozy, wasn't it? Is it cold in Louisiana, now?

  14. This sounds like way too much fun! Kind of like that other royals book that has been making the rounds (can't remember the name).

  15. Trish,

    I'll bet you mean Raucous Royals. I've been kind of hankering to get my mitts on a copy of that one. It looks like loads of fun.

  16. Oh, oh, oh. MUST keep my eyes peeled for this one, it looks brilliant! Thanks for the great review!!!

  17. Stephanie,

    I thought it was loads of fun. Hope you enjoy it, too!


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