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Washington at Valley Forge

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Newbery Award-winning author Russell Freedman offers up this powerful account of the survival of American soldiers while camped at Valley Forge during a crucial period in the American Revolution. George Washington's army almost perished during the winter of 1777-78. Camped at Valley Forge, about twenty miles from Philadelphia, the revolutionaries endured severe hardship be ...more
Hardcover, 100 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Holiday House (first published October 15th 2008)
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We picked this book up as a follow-up to our visit to Valley Forge last year. Much of the information was a review of what we learned while at Valley Forge but there was still plenty of information to keep it interesting and informative.
Dec 06, 2008 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Freedman does the wonderful job I always expect of him in this thoughtful examination of how Washington remade his tattered army at Valley Forge. First he paints a sobering picture of the desperate shape of the men and the horrifying condition of the camp at the start of the winter. Then he goes on to detail the revitalization of that army as Washington systematically addressed the many problems from smoke filled cabins to supply chains to political enemies. Washington recruited skilled help, as ...more
Cindy Dobrez
Jan 30, 2009 Cindy Dobrez rated it it was amazing
And to think that I am cold in my house with the heat kept low. I'd never have made it at Valley Forge with no boots and tattered clothing and drafty tent shelters! Freedman is a master and this book is as well researched and well written as his others. The primary source quotes and the interesting details he weaves into his narratives make his nonfiction so notable. Another easy book to share in middle school booktalks but I'd buy this for elementary and high school collections too.
Nov 26, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
Washington at Valley Forge tells the detailed account of General George Washington’s Continental army and their brutal winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge near British occupied Philadelphia. At the time Washington’s army arrived at Valley Forge, all were starving, weak, wore tattered, insufficient clothing, and many no longer had shoes on their frozen, bleeding feet. Against all odds, the army built shelters, reorganized their supplies systems, and became professionally trained soldiers for the ...more
Nov 23, 2009 Ruth-Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: informational
In the cold winter of 1777, newly appointed General George Washington selects Valley Forge as the army’s encampment for the next six months. The men lack food, blankets, and even clothing. Washington faces the difficulties of obtaining supplies for the army, training his rag tag men for battle, and keeping his position from jealous American officers who attempt to slander him. Not only does Washington keep his tattered, starving army alive, but he sees to it that they become skilled militia men. ...more
Samantha Meyer
Apr 20, 2012 Samantha Meyer rated it liked it
Shelves: eced-221
Washington at Valley Forge by Russell Freedman is the story of George Washington and his troops at a pivotal part of the Revolutionary War. The troops had just spent a freezing winter in Valley Forge with little or no clothing, shelter and food. The book gives a history of the whole war and includes quotes and pictures throughout the story. We learn about three men in the army and their lives which helps draw you into the story.
This book serves to teach about George Washington and
Ally Irwin
Apr 26, 2015 Ally Irwin rated it really liked it
Freedman, R. (2008). Washington at Valley Forge. New York: Holiday House.

This book is all about the hardships during the fight at Valley Forge. It was during the winter of 1777-78 and was a few miles from Philadelphia. They had some really hard conditions such as no food, clothes or blankets for the freezing nights. By the end of the winter the troops did survive and they went away feeling determined. Washington proclaimed the win to the soldiers who made it through these tough times once the Br
Apr 29, 2015 Kaity rated it really liked it
Washington at Valley Forge by Russell Freedman Washington at Valley Forge is split up into nine chapters. At the end of the nine chapters there is a detailed time line of the Revolutionary War. The book has amazing illustrations that go along with the story on the page. The book goes into great detail about Valley Forge but also gives background on General Washington’s life in general as well as a full overview of the Revolutionary War. The design includes a broad spectrum from pictures of what the enlisted men’s huts would look like to sc ...more
Karen Ball
Jun 05, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it
This is the story of the winter of 1777-78, when the ragtag Continental Army camped outside Philadelphia at Valley Forge. It was six critical months of the Revolutionary War, when everything that could go wrong seemed to be going wrong: the supply lines had broken down and the Army wasn't getting food, clothing or blankets, the soldiers' pay wasn't arriving on time, the men were falling ill and literally starving, and Congress was busy blaming General Washington. Washington couldn't respond, bec ...more
Catherine Woodman
Do not be fooled by the location of this book in the children's section--it is not aimed at kids. It is a 100 page book that chronicles the pivotal point in the Revolutionary War, the time that Washington spent in Valley Forge mid-war, where he spent 6 months rebuilding his troops strength, clothing them, feeding them, and not allowing their morale to sag to what would have been appropriate lows. The war was quite losable at that point, and faith in him was not high, nor was Congress all that fu ...more
Karen Gedeon
This book is a very detailed description of Washington's encampment at Valley Forge for six months from 12/1777 - 6/1778. It includes engravings, black and white as well as color paintings, black and white photos, sketches, a time line of the Revolutionary War, source notes, bibliography, a table of contents and an index. This book describes aspects of the war many of us usually don't think about: wives joining their husband (and their support roles to the soldiers), the first floating mines, th ...more
Russell Freedman is one of my favorite nonfiction authors for young people. He has won many children's book awards for his ability to balance easy-to-read text with engaging illustrations to tell the captivating stories from American history. In Washington at Valley Forge, Freedman provides a powerful account of the Winter of 1777-78. In addition to telling the story of Valley Forge during the encampment, the book also provides an overview of the events before and after the famous winter encampm ...more
Ms. Patterson
Feb 05, 2011 Ms. Patterson rated it really liked it
WASHINGTON AT VALLEY FORGE tells the story of how the Continental Army spent the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. Descriptions of the horrible living conditions, freezing temperatures, starvation, and disease faced by all who spent the winter there gives the reader a better understanding of the difficulties overcome by Washington and his men. Just about every page features an illustration to compliment the text, while not overpowering it.

As typically found with any book by Russell Freedman,
Dec 10, 2012 Stefani rated it it was amazing
A "children's book" with substance.

My daughter has to do a report on Washington's contribution to the Revolutionary War. This book is perfect. Not only does it cover Valley Forge (the turning point for the Continental Army), but it talks a bit about what was happening leading up to this winter encampment up through the resolution of the war. She actually hasn't read it yet; I started skimming it to see if it would work, and I was so interested in it, I just read it myself. (We will read it toget
Aug 24, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it
A brief, but informative book about why Washington was at Valley Forge and the conditions there.
From page 82-83:
"Sergeant John Gibbs of New Hampshire spoke for his fellow enlisted men when he wrote: 'It is verry [sic] remarkable that our Troops amidst all their Hardship which the Suffer Still keep a Steady Solid Fortitude of Mind.'
What accounts for such uncommon patience and fortitude? Hessian Major Carl Baurmeister, who fought against the rebels, was convinced that the American army was kept
Charlou Lunsford
Apr 29, 2009 Charlou Lunsford added it
Shelves: j
It's hard for me to rate this star wise for many reasons. I read it to see what it was all about and to add to my knowledge of nonfiction for work related reasons. It was well done with lots of facts, quotes and pictures reminding me I knew so little about this event in our history and I thought all I needed to know was Washington and his troops survived a horrible winter at Valley Forge. Not so. That being said, nonfiction, and especially historical nonfiction is not my thing. This would be a g ...more
Nov 13, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
I purchased this book from Scholastic, thinking it was a lower level book on Valley Forge. I was so wrong! This book has a great depth of information. It also features a plethora of historical images including pictures from Harper's magazine and paintings by Currier and Ives, Gilbert, and more!

I am slightly confused as to who the audience of the book was intended for. There is a great amount of written text in a picture book format. I found it very informative, but question the attention span of
May 09, 2010 Somona rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, children
Author: Russell Freedman
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Information Book
Summary: This book is about the six months (December 19, 1777-June 19, 1778) in which Washington’s army camped at Valley Forge. Paintings and sketches accompany the information. The book also has a table of contents and index to make it easier to find information.
Response: I think this book provides a lot of information and is very organized.
Theme, Concept, Connection: Revolutionary war, George Washington, Valley Forge
Kate Hastings
Feb 09, 2013 Kate Hastings rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-studies
Grades 5-9. Nice snapshot of George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge. Had no idea how young his commanders were-- Lafayette a mere 27(??) years and Alexander Hamilton was 22! The conditions at Valley Forge were so horrible-- I never realized how many men died and how small the army was during the winter of 1777-1778. If British Troops had known... the war could have been over and we might all still be subjects of the crown! As usual, Russell Freedman has compiled excellent first-hand ac ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Jan 03, 2009 Roxanne Hsu Feldman rated it really liked it
This often-told tale of the turning point in the American Revolutionary War is made exciting, dramatic, vivid, and incredibly clear and personable at Freedman's able hand. I love how he wove many quotes from the time, by the people who were there and then, into a cohesive narrative. Many of the illustrations have captions that ask the readers to pay attention to the significances of details and even to challenge some of the inaccuracies in some of them. Although I knew the outcome of the events, ...more
Apr 28, 2010 Kristi rated it really liked it
This book tells an amazing story of George Washington's rise to leadership and great leadership abilities he possessed during the Revolutionary War, particularly during the battle at Valley Forge. There is great detail into this famous battle, the life of George Washington around that time, and of the way people suffered in order to obtain freedom. The book also includes amazing illustrations of people and places during the Revolutionary War time.
Feb 23, 2009 Heloyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, history
Russell Freedman has written another winner. The struggle at Valley Forge is an epic of courage and survival. When I read earlier accounts of that winter of 1777-78, I wondered how we ever won that brutal war. Freedman's accounts confirm what I had read before. Those six months were a turning point for this new country. We succeeded because of heroic individuals including
courageous leaders but also common everyday soldiers with uncommon loyalty and purpose.
Jul 19, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it
Wonderful basic and personable history of Washington and the Continental Army at Valley Forge. Freedman artfully weaves quotes from first hand accounts and primary source material into a descriptive and interesting narrative with his comprehensive book on the subject. Also contains beautiful period illustrations, maps, Revolutionary timeline, quote and source list, bibliography and more.
Laura Sims
May 27, 2013 Laura Sims rated it really liked it
This is a non-fiction picture book about the survival of General George Washington and his troops during the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The story is presented well with personal accounts and vivid imagery which is supplemented with wonderful illustrations. Easy to read and follow in a narrative style that is engaging and well-written.
Shannon Grieshaber
Dec 16, 2013 Shannon Grieshaber rated it really liked it
I love Russell Freedman's books. Man, can this guy write a conclusion. The Revolutionary War/Colonial time period is my fave so I've wanted to read this since it was published in 2008. I love that it's been years since I've read Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains and Forge and mostly what I thought of while reading Washington at Valley Forge were scenes from these two books. Pretty cool.
Jan 30, 2011 Kendra rated it really liked it
Well done, as are most of Freedman's books. Kept me interested in the story of Washington and the Continental Army's winter at Valley Forge. I liked how each of the major people were introduced with just enough background to know of his importance, but not overwhelm with information.
Oct 12, 2016 Sande rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy the wonderful books found in the juvenile section of my library about the founding of the country. This one covers the amazing winter during which George Washington held the troops together despite so many reasons for it all to fall apart.
Apr 06, 2011 Brett rated it liked it
Shelves: j-nf-hist-amer
Typically strong Russell Friedman look at the Continental Army's famously harsh winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, & how it helped turn the tide of the Revolutionary War in the Colonists' favor. Interesting illustrations throughout.
Nov 25, 2009 Phoebe rated it it was amazing
Another great nonfiction book for kids and young adults! Illustrated with period (and later) paintings and told in Freedman's usual clear style. He includes plenty of historical accounts from actual soldiers, which really lend immediacy.
Kim Dennis
Oct 02, 2015 Kim Dennis rated it really liked it
It was a pretty fast, concise overview of Valley Forge. I really liked some of the quotes he used, although I do wish the notations and bibliography had been better. (Of course, maybe it's a good thing they weren't -- I would just buy more books.)
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Russell Freedman is the award-winning author of 47 books, some of which have been translated into a diverse number of languages, including Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Flemish, Arabic and Bengali. But Freedman wasn't always a children's book writer.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Pre
More about Russell Freedman...

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