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Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  379 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Before Washington crossed the Delaware, Henry Knox crossed Massachusetts in winter—with 59 cannons in tow.

In 1775 in the dead of winter, a bookseller named Henry Knox dragged 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston—225 miles of lakes, forest, mountains, and few roads. It was a feat of remarkable ingenuity and determination and one of the most remarkable stories of the r
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
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Jan 20, 2014 Barb rated it really liked it
I loved this book, I read it with my son right after he was lamenting the difficulty of taking care of the garbage. I told him sometimes you have to do things in life that aren't easy, sometimes you have problems that you need to figure out instead of having someone figure them out for you. He wasn't really seeing my point. Then we read 'Henry and the Cannons' by Don Brown.

We loved the story about Henry Knox who does something huge, so huge that no one is sure it can even be done. He goes all th
Jan 21, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing
The trend for great children’s historical biographies in picture book format continue this year. This picture book tells the story of Henry Knox. It is the winter of 1775 and the Americans need cannons to take back Boston from the British. Knox takes the challenge of moving 59 cannons over 225 miles across Massachusetts in the dead of winter. It took boats, oxen and plenty of determination and innovation to get those cannons across the state. The journey and amazing achievement is told here in a ...more
What a treat this book is! It describes the arduous labors of Henry Knox, a Patriotic bookseller who volunteers to bring 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. Readers will be able to feel the icy chill of the winter of 1775 and note the sympathetic strain of their own muscles as he and his men drag the cannons across land to a lake, and then across land and frozen rivers. Up and down hills, Knox and his men labored for 50 days to bring that much-needed equipment to General George Washingto ...more
Henry Knox, a bookseller did what no other solider could do; he dragged 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston to scare off the British Army. Henry Knox promised George Washington that he was the man for the job! Facing extreme weather conditions, Henry trudged on, heaving each 120,000 pound cannon through lakes, streams, rivers, mud, and treacherous cliffs. After nearly 3 months, Henry had finally delivered the cannons to the hills that overlook Boston, thus scaring off the British troops a ...more
Henry and the Cannons tells about an often-overlooked feat of engineering, in which a bookseller managed to find a way to move fifty-nine cannons all the way from Ticonderoga to Boston in the middle of winter. The shock of their arrival helped force the British out of Boston, a major turning point of the American Revolution.
A simple, serious story, it is told in the form of a non-fiction picture book, which gives younger kids a visual reference for what the various things looked like. Pure text
Yay for booksellers! In 1775, Henry Knox, a bookseller, recruited some men to help him drag 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston to help George Washington in the American Revolution. It was winter, and he traveled about fifty days in snow, icy waters, mud, and ice to get the job done. Impressive! Two thousand Americans hauled wood and barrels up the hills in the night to make a fortress for Knox's cannons to surprise the British. At daybreak, the British soldiers saw what confronted them a ...more
General George Washington needed cannons, but he had no way to get them from New York to Boston. Bookseller Henry Knox believed he could do the job. He and his crew traveled over tough terrain in terrible snowstorms and overcame amazingly difficult circumstances to deliver the cannons to General Washington. The cannons were a tremendous boon to the patriots' cause, and Henry Knox became a hero of the Revolutionary War.

Problem is, not too many people these days know who Henry Knox was, and certai
Cindy Dobrez
Feb 23, 2013 Cindy Dobrez rated it it was amazing
What a story. I guess I'll quit whining about hauling my luggage cart with book boxes through the snow between libraries every day! Henry Knox was quite the bookseller hero. My history knowledge is regrettably weak so I had never heard about this man and his efforts to haul cannons 300 miles to save Boston from the British. The story and art here combine to make something special. Young readers are going to be enthralled. And this wouldn't be a bad choice to use with middle schoolers during the ...more
Gavin Flint
Apr 06, 2016 Gavin Flint rated it it was amazing
Core Curricular tie that can be made with this text: Social Studies/ History

Detailed Explanation of how this text can be used to support instruction in the core curricular area: This is a narrative nonfiction picture book telling the story of Henry Knox in the American Revolutionary War. This book would be best used during a lesson on the war by providing examples of what it was like in the war in a fashion easily understandable by young students. It could be presented to the class as a read alo
Becky B
During the American Revolution, the British captured Boston and it looked like they would hold it for quite a while. The closest cannons were in Fort Ticonderoga, about 300 miles away. And, it was winter. But one book seller decided he'd get those cannons to Boston. His name was Henry Knox, and this is the story of how he got those cannons to Boston and saved the day despite incredible odds against him.

I'd heard of Henry Knox in history classes, but it wasn't until Nathan Hale gave his amazing f
Sue Edwards
Mar 03, 2015 Sue Edwards rated it really liked it
You may not have heard of Henry Knox but it turns out that he was a pivotal figure in the Revolutionary War. Who knew? I sure didn’t.

The British Army held Boston. They knew that Washington and his modest army had little chance of taking the city from them.

Cannons would make all of the difference. Colonel Benedict Arnold had taken Ft. Ticonderoga in New York for the Americans. There were plenty of cannons there but it was also 300 miles away. Getting the cannons from there to Boston would be impo
Sarah Wheeland
Mar 25, 2014 Sarah Wheeland rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Henry and the Cannons

(2013, January 1). School Library Journal.

Text Structure: Problem and Solution

Fiction Twin Text: “Brave Young Knight” by Karen Kingsbury (2011)

Rationale: In both of these stories, the hero is an unlikely character who possesses intellectual and character qualities but lacks the traditional physical strength associated with heroes. I chose to put these two stories together for an easy main character comparison for students in a reading
Feb 20, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
The British soldiers living in Boston during the Revolutionary War got one of the nastiest surprises in history. One morning, a soldier cried that there was a line of cannons looking down at them! Nonsense, said an officer, there aren't any cannons for 300 miles. Then he looked up...
Apr 29, 2015 April rated it really liked it
The American Revolution is an oft discussed topic in history courses. The lessons usually feature a cast of well-know characters: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine, just to name a few. However, we aren't often introduced to the minor characters who contributed to the revolution. The ordinary citizens who made small gestures that were huge contributions to the war effort. I was so intrigued by this book because it introduces us to just one such ...more
Heather Hilliker
Dec 09, 2014 Heather Hilliker rated it it was amazing
This book is a wonderful nonfiction book about the American Revolution, and about how Henry Knox aided in the war efforts. George Washington calls upon Henry Knox after discovering that he will need cannons to defeat his enemy and drive them out of Boston. Although Henry Knox is only a book seller, he is confident that he can deliver the cannons to the location, since he has read books about being a soldier. Even though Henry Knox is a larger man, he is still able to gather recruits to help him ...more
Richie Partington
Feb 27, 2013 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie's Picks: HENRY AND THE CANNONS: AN EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Don Brown, Roaring Brook, January 2013, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-59643-266-6

"And now he's rollin' down the mountain
Going fast, fast, fast
And if he blows it
This one's gonna be his last"
-- John Dawson, "Henry" (about a different Henry who also had everyone counting on his succeeding in a perilous, high-stakes trip)

"It was the winter of 1775. The American Revolution had begun, and things weren't going well fo
Jim Erekson
Oct 07, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
The Henry Knox history is great material. I realize I probably knew it before, but was reintroduced to it in Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales. I was excited when I saw this title in the stack Lu borrowed for me.

Don Brown made a good complementary visual story. There are individual pictures and double-page spreads that tell their own mini-narrative, and the entire set of pictures could tell a mostly cohesive story without the words. Brown uses a variety of graphic-novel conventions and structures t
Jun 23, 2014 Shelli rated it it was amazing
How have I never heard this story of Henry Knox?? A humble book seller who played an important role in the Revolutionary War with a long arduous, seemingly impossible task of delivering 59 cannons to General George Washington; crossing 225 miles of rugged terrain, lakes, and mountains in the frigid east coast winter of 1775. Wow, wow, wow! A fantastic read aloud about an unsung hero during our nation’s infancy. A must read for students covering the American Revolution or just for fun.
Brienz Wilkening
May 29, 2014 Brienz Wilkening rated it really liked it
Shelves: 689
This book shocked me! I learned so much from such a little book. I did not know that during the American Revolution the Americans moved cannons many many miles in winter conditions. This story was only about 30 pages but I learned so much. I would love to use this book when teaching history to my students because it read in a very easy manner and was full of great information and wonderful artwork. I just did not know I could learn so much in five minutes.
Jun 10, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! It's a little beyond my 4 year old, but he chose it at the library, so here we are! The illustrations are wonderful, and the story is clear and concise. I'm sure it would be great for school kids studying American History. The author has clearly done his research about a little know episode in the American Revolution, which seems to have been quite important actually, and the man who made it happen and saw it through, Henry Knox.
Sandy Brehl
This is a story from history that I've heard or read in several formats, but it never impressed me the way it did in this picture book depiction. The commitment of henry Knox, his men, Washington, and even the oxen vibrated off the page. Their long, cold, virtually impossible fifty-day slog to bring the cannons to Washington's camp are impressive in part because of the visual design of the book. This is a perfect high quality non-fiction picture book resource for close reading, mentor text for w ...more
Sep 10, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: t-l-544
Copyright: 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Thoughts: This book described the move of cannons during the American revolution. It was kind of interesting but got dull at parts because they described for many pages how hard it was to move them. Not much actions to drive the plot.
Sep 10, 2015 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
I love the voice and the detail in this book. It gives me goosebumps to think of the heroic sacrifices made against impossible odds by a determined bookseller and his band of men. Absolutely amazing. I'll think of Henry and his men when life starts to look impossible.
Diana Pettis
Feb 27, 2014 Diana Pettis rated it liked it
This would be a great book for teacher's to use if they are doing a unit of study on the American Revolution. I read it to the boys today and Xavier told me it was very accurate to what he learned in school. I also enjoyed the illustrations.
Feb 22, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
Story of a man who wanted to help during the Revolutionary. He delivered 59 cannons to Boston. His travels took him 300 miles in difficult weather and terrain. His determination greatly effected the outcome of the war.
Jul 06, 2014 Kristin rated it really liked it
This was a great children's nonfiction book about the Revolutionary War. It was an interesting story, easy to read, and had illustrations that complemented the story very nicely.
Jamie Johnson
Jun 14, 2014 Jamie Johnson rated it it was amazing
Great introductory book to The Revolutionary War. Readers will learn about little known Revolutionary War hero, Henry Knox. Would make a great addition to an elementary library.
This tale from the American Revolution spotlights Henry Knox. A bookseller who taught himself soldiering, Knox promised General Washington that he would deliver cannons to Boston. The mission was cold, wet, extremely hard, but ultimately successful.

Watercolor illustrations do a great job of presenting the many struggles Knox and his crew encountered making good on their promise to Washington. The color palette is muted and gives readers a visual idea of the cold and misery these brave Americans
Jan 14, 2014 Kifflie rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth-nonfiction
This is a well-told, well-illustrated easy nonfiction book about an important episode in the history of the American Revolution. It's the story of how Henry Knox brought cannons 300 miles from upstate New York all the way to Boston, in order to chase the British out of that city.

The pictures and text go well together in describing how difficult the journey was, and how resilient Henry Knox and his men were in accomplishing their goal.
Picture book version of the story of Henry Knox's remarkable journey from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston with 59 cannon, to the aid of General Washington. Illustrated in panels, the text is spare, so the pictures must and do tell the story. A hand-drawn map of the route is provided on the t.i.p. page. Palette in grays and blues and browns portray well the cold, long and difficult task, with some gentle humor thrown in (cannon falling through stuck in mud). Action and narrative are both p ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pac
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