Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, December 12, 2022

Cloaked in Courage: Uncovering Deborah Sampson, Patriot Soldier by Beth Anderson

Cloaked in Courage: Uncovering Deborah Sampson, Patriot Soldier 
By Beth Anderson;
Illustrated by Anne Lambelet
Calkins Creek. An Imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers. 2022

Attempting to uncover the story of Deborah Sampson proved challenging, says Anderson in her author’s note. “Today, much of Deborah Sampson’s life remains a mystery.” Many details about her story have been lost to history. What she could uncover using primary and secondary sources offers readers an inspirational picture book biography.

Deborah Sampson left her family as a five-year-old. Working to “earn her keep”, the quiet young woman listened to what was being said around her. With the American Revolution percolating, Deborah wanted to be part of it.  Rejecting the traditional path of marriage at age 18, Sampson, fueled by the adventures of women warriors throughout history, decided to try disguising herself as a man to join the fight against the British.

This tale of bravery and courage is well-told. Partnered with Lambelet’s beautiful illustrations that reflect the times, will keep listeners glued to every word. Lambelet’s illustrations, created as traditional pencil drawing, and a variety of hand-painted and hand-drawn textures, all of which are combined and colored in Adobe Photoshop, are stunning. 

Included is a lengthy author’s note that offers a more detailed background on Deborah Sampson and a bibliography. 

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