Sunday, June 2, 2019

St, George's Cross and the Siege of Fort Pitt

by Calvin J. Boal

Calvin J. Boal is the author of several historical fiction books. He uses genealogy research to find real people from his family tree to build characters and stories around in his books.

Let me start by saying this book is incredibly well researched. Boal presents an incredibly detailed account of the French and Indian War time period. He documents battles and leaders of both the British and French forces in great detail. If you love the colonial era and are fascinated by the conflicts that shaped North America this is definitely for you. As a United States History teacher, I learned a lot of interesting facts that I will use in the future when teaching this time period. 

The first one-hundred pages started as a fast-moving adventure story featuring young Thomas Doty. Events transpire that allow Thomas to leave his family's Pennsylvania farm on a ship and travel far from home. Shipwrecks, islands, pirates, Caribbean ports, and sabotage contribute to a compelling tale. Thomas eventually finds his way home to face shocking news that leads to another adventure, this time to the Ohio Territory to the west. 

This is where I started to become concerned. Lovers of history and teachers of history will likely continue to enjoy the story. However, the rest of the book is loaded with details. So many, that at times the story of Thomas and those close to him disappears for pages at times. I found myself thinking of my students and wondering if the book had become to text-bookish for them. Boal eventually finds the story again, providing an emotional and well-written ending.

Again, if you love history, this is an author I would highly recommend. His books cover many different time periods or eras and in my opinion he is a very good writer.

Books by Calvin J. Boal are available here