Book Review: Powder Monkey by Donna M. McDine


Title: Powder Monkey

Author: Donna M. McDine

Genre: Children, Historical Fiction

Publication Date: September 11, 2014


About the Book

Forced into a life at sea by the Royal Navy Press Gangs, 12-year-old Tommy Kitt finds himself in a floating sea of misery. Poor living conditions and beatings occur daily. Despite his small size, Tommy must summon the courage and physical ability to prevail in a situation he cannot escape. Suggested age range for readers: 8-12


My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

Powder Monkey is a very short historical fiction book for children. It says it is for children 8 to 12 but, because of the content, I wouldn’t recommend it for children under 10.

This story is about a time when the Royal Navy Press Gangs took boys from their homes and put them to work on ships. They were treated poorly and many died. It’s a horrible story based on fact and I think it would be a good idea for parents to read it with their children the first time so that they can discuss it.

For each page of text there is a colorful illustration which children will enjoy.

This is a good book for children to learn about a terrible time in history and how it affected both children and their families.


About the Author

4315195Multi award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine’s creative side had lain dormant for many years until her desire to write sparked in 2007. With several early reader children’s picture books to her credit:

• A Sandy Grave (Purple Dragonfly 2014 Award First Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014);
• Powder Monkey (Purple Dragonfly 2015 Award First Place Historical Fiction and Story Monster Approved 2014);
• Hockey Agony (Purple Dragonfly 2015 Award Honorable Mention Picture Books 6 & Older and New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014 and Story Monster Approved 2014);
• The Golden Pathway (Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader 2011 and Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention) and;
• Dee and Deb, Off They Go – Kindergarten First Day Jitters (August 2015) all with Guardian Angel Publishing.

McDine’s adventures continue as she ignites the curiosity of children through reading while she writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, New York State Reading Association and Family Reading Partnership.

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