Wednesday, July 4, 2012

REVIEW: The Sons of Liberty (Book One)

Lagos, A., & Lagos, J.  (2010).  The Sons of Liberty.  New York:  Random House.

Happy Independence Day, Americans!

Appetizer:  Set in 1760, Brody and Graham are young slaves on the horrendous Mr. Sorenson's plantation.  After an accident in which they hurt Sorenson's vile son, the two must run away.  Pursued by the villainous Walker, who works for Sorenson, and his many dogs, the two try to take refuge on the lands of Benjamin Franklin (Yes, that Benjamin Franklin!).

The two boys do not find any respite though, because they are captured by Franklin's mad son, William, who has been doing experiments with electricity and killing many animals in a cabin on the Franklin land.  William does not hesitate to experiment on the two boys.

Benjamin Franklin does manage to find and save Brody and Graham, but the boys are changed.  They can leap across the river with almost no effort.

Franklin and his friend Benjamin Lay vow to protect the boys and prepare them for a great future, fighting to create a country where slaves can be free.

In the spirit of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter or Quinten Tarantino's Django Unchained, The Sons of Liberty draw inspiration from history to create a superhero origin story that is both inspiring and empowering.  The website for the book series,, is pretty great.  And although it wasn't online while I was writing this post, they're developing a fact vs. fiction page that could be a great resource for students.

While I loved the story, I do have to admit, I felt like the way the graphic novel came together was not 100% clear.  I found that I had to read it more slowly than I would other graphic novels to make certain I was following.  There were some gaps in the text during which characters would be in surprising places without explanation (William going from the Franklin home to Fort Ticonderoga...I missed that development).  There was also a flashback within a flashback that was a little disconcerting.

The second book in this series is Death and Taxes.  I'll check it out because I want to get to more of the superheroing and see the push toward freedom.

Dinner Conversation:

Tasty Rating:  !!!

Well, I'm off to watch Independence Day!

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