We talked to historians, we travelled to Boston, and we read--lots. In this section we give you a list of the most useful books that we have found on all things Paul Revere, the Sons of Liberty, and Nikola Tesla. This list is for parents and teachers, except where noted.
Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer
We found ourselves returning to this book constantly for our research, even taking it with us on our trip to Boston. Dr. Fischer places the midnight ride in context, discussing what led to the British occupation of Boston, the rise of the Sons of Liberty, and the aftermath of the Redcoat's march on Lexington and Concord. If you can only get one research book on Paul Revere, this is the one to get.
We found nothing objectionable in this book for middle-school kids, though parents will want to read through the book as the topic itself can raise numerous questions. Use your best judgement based on the child(ren) that are referencing the material.
Paul Revere and the World He Lived In
Winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize in History
First published in 1942, this book remains one of the best reference books on the subject of Paul Revere. Esther Forbes also wrote another book calle Johnny Tremain, which was adapted for film by Walt Disney.
Once again, we found nothing objectionable in this book for middle-school kids, but as with Paul Revere's Ride, parents will want to read this first to facilitate discussions about some less than ideal circumstances these real-life characters were in.
Life and Times of Joseph Warren
Since this book's copyright expired long ago, you can find it in its entirety online. Simply search for the title and there are numerous references to it. Applewood Books also provides a reprinting if you prefer it as a traditional book.
We found Dr. Warren to be one of the most fascinating people that we researched, partly because we knew so little about him. He was one of the most ardent patriots, with unparalleled bravery, and a strong leader. This book provides much greater detail on this amazing man than we found in any other source, and we highly recommend it for your library. No objectionable content that we found, though the writing is definitely not for kids.
The Day the American Revolution Began
This very interesting read looks at the state of the colonies at the beginning of the war. It covers Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Williamsburg, with a chapter on London thrown in. It shows the mindset of other colonies at the same time, and helped us to appreciate not only the struggles between London and the colonies, but also the Colonies' internal struggles.
Nothing objectionable that we found, but as with the other books, parents will want to review it first for age-appropriateness.
TESLA - Man Out Of Time
GREAT resource on Nikola Tesla, providing a very complete picture of his life. The photographs and engravings in the center of the book are wonderful, and coverage of many of his inventions show that he truly was a "Man out of Time."
This books is definitely written for adults, but it is one of the best for parents and teachers to read to gain a greater understanding of one of the world's greatest inventors.
Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla
Biography of a Genius
This book was a constant resource for our Tesla research. The author provides insights into Tesla's upbringing, his transformation from a boy in a remote village in Europe to a member of high society in New York, and ultimately his decline into poverty.
Like all of the other Tesla books here, this was not written for kids.
Nikola Tesla: Colorado Springs Notes
This is a very interesting read if you like electricity. If you understand schematics, you will like it even more. These were the notes that Nikola took while experimenting in his Colorado Springs laboratory, and additional commentary provides some context to the experiments.
This book is great for adults, and there is nothing objectionable for kids that we could find, but if your middle-school kid(s) have to read this book they will likely look upon it as punishment. It is dry and reads like you would expect a highly educated inventor to write. Great resource, but not for kids (unless you are raising a young Nikola).