Sunday, November 04, 2007

Review: John Treegate's Musket

John Treegate's Musket by Leonard Wibberley
1959, Bethlehem Books, 188 pages, Softcover

The year is 1769, not even ten years after the French and Indian War, when colonial militia joined the British regulars in defeating the French. John Treegate proudly served in the militia then. As a symbol of his fierce loyalty to England and in remembrance of those days gone by, he proudly displays his musket over his mantle.

But the sentiments of Boston have drastically changed since then, now, with the imposition of heavy taxes from England, Boston is seething with resentment. Hoping to remedy the situation, John Treegate, a loyalist, sets off for England, but unable to meet with the proper officials, is detained longer than expected.

In the meantime, his eleven-year-old son, Peter, is apprenticed to Mr. Fielding, a manufacturer of barrel staves. Although Mr. Fielding is a man of principle, not all of his apprentices are. So begins Peter Treegate’s rough and tumble existence as he tries to navigate the turbulence that has set in Boston, leading to the Boston Massacre.

As the tension begins to mount, Peter’s life dramatically changes. After a series of terrifying events, Peter flees Boston, fearing for his life. His adventures take him far and wide as he sails rough seas aboard an illegal merchant ship, encountering hostile ships and fierce storms. When a hurricane strikes, he becomes shipwrecked, loses his memory, and is rescued by a fierce mountain man and more.

Reflecting the bitterness, anger, and strife of the times, Peter’s life is beset with violence, making this book more appropriate for ages 14 and up. No matter what happens to Peter, throughout the story, the principles of good and evil are clearly laid out. Peter chooses wisely and never succumbs to the revenge, hatred, or evil portrayed by others.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Yank (11/4/07).

Available from your favorite Catholic book store.

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