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Lafayette and the American Revolution

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  258 ratings  ·  73 reviews
When the Marquis de Lafayette ran off to join the American Revolution against the explicit orders of the king of France, he was a strong-willed nineteen-year-old who had never set foot on a battlefield. Although the U.S. Congress granted him an honorary commission only out of respect for his title and wealth, Lafayette quickly earned the respect of his fellow officers with ...more
Hardcover, 88 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Holiday House
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  258 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Melissa Mcavoy
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Impressed. It seems to me that history usually has two readers, those who know little about the subject and those on their way to expert status. This book offers something for both. Freedman adroitly positions Layfayette to capture the sympathies of the reader and enhance a fresh view of the American Revolution. Layfayette is very young,(19) with little knowledge of America and almost as little military experience. His alliance with the revolutionaries and his commission as a major general, when ...more
Dichotomy Girl
The final lines of the book:

"In 1917 [...] during WW I [...] the first American Troops to arrive in France made a pilgrimage to Lafayette's burial place. In a stirring tribute to the young Frenchman's heroic service to America, U.S. Colonel Charles E. Stanton stood before the grave, saluted and announced: 'Lafayette, we are here.' "

Actually brought tears to my eyes.

Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-nonfiction
Continuing his exploration of American History for this publisher, Freedman focuses on the ambitious young French nobleman who wanted to be a soldier in an era of peace in France and who was inspired by the American colonists ideas of the rights of mankind. With his usual straightforward, engaging narrative and plentiful illustrations - paintings, engravings, portraits, and other historical material usually dated in the caption - the author describes his contributions to the Revolutionary effort ...more
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of the author Russell Freedman! BIG FAN! I think he has found a very important niche in literature but helping the "ordinary" American citizen gain an extraordinary appreciation for the people and events that have shaped our country and world. I wish all his books were recommended reading in our schools! He does such a good job presenting information that is well-written, well-researched, and easy to read and understand. I knew nothing about this man Lafayette who played such an i ...more
Karen Ball
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Marquis de Lafayette was a very wealthy French lord who should have been playing games and attending parties in King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's royal court in Paris. Instead, the 19-year-old bought a ship, and sneaked out of the country to join the American rebels. France was trying to keep the political peace with England, while hiding the fact that they were shipping supplies and money to the Americans, as well as closing their eyes to the fact that many French officers and soldiers ...more
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-nonfiction
When the Marquis de Lafayette ran off to join the American Revolution against the explicit orders of the king of France, he was a strong-willed nineteen-year-old who had never set foot on a battlefield. Although the U.S. Congress granted him an honorary commission only out of respect for his title & wealth, Lafayette quickly earned the respect of his fellow officers with his bravery, devotion to the cause of liberty, & incredible drive. Playing a pivotal role in the Revolution, Lafayette ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Russell Freedman has done it again! This account of Lafeyette's years aiding America in the Revolution was a 2011 Robert F. Siebert Informational Book Medal honor book, but I would have given it a Newbery as well. I never realized what an interesting fellow this guy was until I read this book. Freedman describes how Lafayette eluded the King's men, who were trying to stop him from leaving for America, in breathless fashion. What adventure! I couldn't put it down. I felt sorry for his poor wife A ...more
Tracy Bye
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: intermediate
Audience: Intermediate (5th grade particularly but can be for 5-8)
Genre: Non-fiction Biography
Bloom's Questions:

What is so different about Marquis de Lafayette?

Describe the life of Marquis de Lafayette before he joined the military.

If you could ask Marquis de Lafayette any questions about the choices he made at such a young age, what would they be?

Lafayette earned a lot of respect from his fellow officers and soldiers. What evidence can you find to show
Jan 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Quite a readable introduction to the life of a dashing, interesting man. The pages are well laid out with some well-placed graphics, but the book is fairly wordy and this may be off-putting. However, Russell Freedman always does a spectacular job of condensing history so that it is understandable and even interesting to kids. Bravo once again.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, ya
I learned a whole lot about Lafayette that I never knew...and enjoyed learning it! I had no idea that he was so young when he joined the Revolution. Nor that the French monarchy opposed him joining. I was also surprised by his close relationship with Washington. A fascinating history book...
Edward Sullivan
Another exceptionally written, handsomely illustrated historical biography from Russell Freedman.
Robert Ellington
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kind of pleasantly coincidental that I finished this book on Flag Day!
May 29, 2011 rated it liked it
The story of the heroic young Marquis de Lafayette is one that I think often gets overlooked when the American Revolution is taught in schools. It's easy to focus on the major American heroes of the day such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and even the traitorous Benedict Arnold, but the name of Lafayette curiously seems to be left out of the conversation a good portion of the time. I'm not sure why that may be, but after reading this book I would have to say that Lafayette was as i ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I recently finished reading the book Lafayette and the American Revolution. This book was written by Russel Freedman. I personally enjoyed reading this book. The book is not to long. It is only around seventy to eighty pages long.
The book tells the story of a Frenchman named Lafayette and how he helped in the American Revolution. I would recommend this book to people that want to learn a little bit about the American Revolution. I think that a good age to read this book would be around 12 and
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a biography about the life of Gilbert Lafayette, and how he became the an important figure in the American Revolution. The book takes us all the way back to when Lafayette was a young boy, his arrival to South Carolina, how he became wounded in battle, his imprisonment, and how he became an influential part of French Politics. The illustrations in this biography are composed of paintings, and important documents of that time such as the first page of The Declaration of Rights of Man ...more
Amy Lafleur Meyers
Freedman is an excellent storyteller as he recounts the life and world of Lafayette. He explains why a young nineteen year old French nobleman would decide to leave his comfortable life to help the Americans in their fight for freedom from the British. Freedman's informative text is supplemented by lots of illustrations with paintings of Lafayette through the years and his world and prints of people and places. Well-written and well-researched history book.
Rebecka Norton
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book with my 5th grade daughter. And while it is intended for intermediate elementary children, there was a lot of substance. It didn’t feel watered down, but told the story of Lafayette’s part in the American revolution in a concise and easy-to-follow way.
Martha Freeman
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Born in 1929, Russell Freedman is the master of old-school historical writing. The Newbery Medal is rarely given to nonfiction, but he won it for his biography of Lincoln in 1988.

Freedman’s books are illustrated with engravings, paintings and maps– nothing cute or quirky, nary a cartoon balloon in sight. Reading his latest, “Lafayette and the American Revolution,” I imagined narration by James Earl Jones.

Freedman opens with a grabber chapter that describes an aristocratic mystery man’s secret
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it
1. Biography
2. An interesting look at the life of Gilbert de Lafayette, the riches man in France and one of George Washington's closest friends. With personal tidbits added to make it interesting, this biography details the events leading up to the French Revolution (and then Lafayette's death) and dictates Lafayette's opinions, life goals, struggles, triumphs, successes, and extraordinarily devotion to liberty.
3. Critique
a. The amount of knowledge renders the book a bit of a heavy read, however
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 642
Genre: Biography/Informational for ages 10 and up.

Summary: The life's story of a young frenchman, the marquis de Lafayette, who took up the cause of the American Revolution and made it his own. Leaving his family, the comforts of home, and his country he sailed for America at age nineteen to volunteer to fight for the cause of freedom for the colonies. After, becoming a hero of the American revolutionary war he tried, without success, to bring those ideas to France and was exiled but throughout
APA Citation: Freedman, R. (2010). Lafayette and the American Revolution. New York: Holiday House.

Category: Biography

Lafayette and the American Revolution is the story of the Marquis of Layfayette and his dealing with American during the Revolutionary War. At the age of 19, when most men of his age and money were attending balls, Layfayette bought a ship and sailed to America to volunteer with the Continental Congress. From his assistance in the victory at the Battle of Yorktown to his friendsh
Gwen Martin
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This book was very thorough and taught me a lot about Gilbert Lafayette. I knew he was an officer with George Washington during the American Revolution, but I did not know a lot more. Now I do. He was a very smart young man, grew up awkwardly and without parents for most of his life. He inherited a great deal of money at a very early age, since he was the only son in a very wealthy family. His father died when Lafayette was still very young, and his mother died when he was a teenager. I learned ...more
Melissa Dwyer
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Originally rated G by Joanne Valco
Newbery Medalist Freedman, biographer and historian to the young, employs his easy-to-read style in chronicling the life of Gen. Gilbert de Lafayette, an unlikely but key player in the American Revolution. Opening with Lafayette's dramatic, secretive departure from France, the author seizes readers' attention up front and holds it with a straightforward narrative that relies on quotations and anecdotes from Lafayette's unconventional life. The book's 10 chapters
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: This is a great book for older elementary aged students that are in 5th or 6th grade. This book did a great job of really explaining who Marquis de Lafayette was and gives a great in look into who he was & students can get to know someone outside of the normally talked about war heroes.

Reading in a group: This would be a great book to read over the American Revolution and during a unit that discusses it. The use of pictures and quotations would give students a great insig
I learned a lot from this book, but mostly because I knew hardly anything about Lafayette. I knew the name and I knew many things were named after him. That was it. So I was very interested to learn what I did and see why he is a hero to Americans. I wouldn't say that he was brilliant in achieving military victories and the like. His heroism came more from his courage, willingness to help our country, sacrifice, determination, and other qualities that are more heroic than statistics/records ever ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Before you read any further you must understand the most non fiction pretty much puts me to sleep. That being said, this book wasn't much different. While I appreciate Lafayette's journey from boyhood to the American war hero he was, I just can't seem to get engrossed in the actual tale of it. The only part I did like was the underlying tale of his undying love for his young wife Adrienne. For an arranged marriage they had the rare event of actually falling in love.

The actual tale of the war ev
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
When a privileged young Frenchman becomes smitten with the scent of revolution in the American colonies, will he leave behind his new bride and secure future for a chance of glory on the battlefields of the American Revolutionary War? Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette did just such a thing in 1777 at the age of 19. George Washington considered Lafayette a true friend – one of only a few Washington completely trusted and opened his heart to. Freedman gives readers young and old the opportunity to le ...more
Lafayette. Le sigh.

I'm in love with the man. Everything about him makes me happy.

This is the third biography I've read about him in the past couple of months. Freedman's book is definitely written for the younger reader. Coming off of Unger's Lafayette, nothing else really compares.

I love how beautifully made this book is. There are tons of color pictures included, some of Lafayette that I had never seen before. The paintings were my favorite part. The book focuses on Lafayette's role in the A
Laura Osborn
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Audience: Older, intermediate students would be the best age group for this book. American history is generally taught around 5th grade, so this would be a great addition to a classroom library.

Appeal: Any child interested in the American Revolution would like this book. There is a fantastic timeline at the end of the book that would assist even a slower reader. The story of Lafayette begins with is childhood and goes through his life, even after the war. There are several historic pictures in
Jennifer Lavoie
When you learn about the American Revolution, you often hear the name Lafayette, the young, French major general who came to help. However, prior to reading this well-written book meant for young readers, I had no idea as to the extent of which he helped America gain its independence from Great Britain.

Lafayette was only nineteen years old when he came over to help, not wanting pay or reimbursement for his services, just the title of major general. Though honorary at first, he worked hard and e
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Russell A. Freedman was an American biographer and the author of nearly 50 books for young people. He may be known best for winning the 1988 Newbery Medal with his work Lincoln: A Photobiography.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press and as a publicity writer. His nonfiction books ranged in