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A historically accurate narrative and majestic oil-painting illustrations chronicle the story of how Francis Scott Key came to write the United States' national anthem.
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Kroll ( Mary McClean and the St. Patrick's Day Parade ) dramatizes a critical moment in the War of 1812 as he describes the writing of the national anthem. Just before the British attack on Fort McHenry, Baltimore, in September 1814, the Washington lawyer Francis Scott Key and a colonel boarded a British ship to petition for the release of an American doctor taken prisoner. The plea was granted, but the three Americans were forced to watch the British attack on Baltimore before they could return to shore. Written the day after that attack, the song was inspired by the sight of a huge flag ("forty-two by thirty feet, fifteen stars and fifteen stripes") flying over the fort during heavy fighting and shelling. By dawn the gunfire had ceased, and Key "strained to see what flag was flying over the fort." Glimpsing the Stars and Stripes, Key scribbled the now famous first words of the anthem on the back of an old letter he found in his pocket. Although the beginning is marred by unnecessary information and awkward phrasings ("Francis got released from military duty" and "he could not have violated his neutrality."), the rest of the story energetically conveys Kroll's careful research and patriotic thrummings. Oil paintings hinting of Turner capture a sense of history and portray the excitement and the action. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A handsomely illustrated account of the writing of our national anthem, in its historical context. Beginning with a note on the War of 1812 and concluding with one on the later history of Key and his poem, the prolific Kroll's narrative is straightforward, though sometimes unclear, especially in explaining the intricacies of how Key came to witness the battle as a ``hostage'' (a misnomer: he had arrived under a flag of truce to free a friend--a mission in which he was successful; but they were simply detained during the battle). Key's approach to the British was courageous and, to modern eyes, extraordinary; unfortunately, the text's lack of clarity undermines its inherent drama. Andreason's formally composed realistic paintings are more effective; his skillful characterizations bring the events to life, while period detail and a nicely understated golden aura evoke the setting and the story's legendary status. Full text with piano score; map; bibliography of 12 children's books, 1935- 1988; index. (Nonfiction. 5-9) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Demco Media, 2000. Condition: Good. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP29930700