Monday, February 2, 2015

The Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George Washington by David Potter


This review was written by: B
Received: Free ARC from contest
Publication Date of Book: Jan. 6, 2015
Pages: 352 (hardcover edition)
Stars: 4/5

Mel, Bev, and Brandon don't have the best relationship with each other.  However, it's the Christmas holidays, and their parents are either too busy or too successful for these three children to come home with them.  In turn, they made arrangements with their school to take care of these three over the course of the vacation.  They are the Left Behinds.  To make their time less unpleasant, special events were planned out so that boredom did not overtake their lives.  One of these such arrangements was on Christmas Day when their teacher decided to take them to the annual reenactment of George Washington crossing the Delaware River.

Things don't go exactly as planned though, as Mel, Bev, and Brandon witness a queer man exit the basement of a nearby building.  Daring each other to go down to the stranger's previous location.  As they descend and find a computer, they are suddenly transported to a most bizarre and curious place.  Before them in a horse stall, George Washington is lying dead right before their very eyes.  Wait, this has to be a part of the reenactment, right?  Perhaps, not only were they transported to a different scene, but perhaps they were transported to a different time, as well!  If that's true, however, that means the real first President of the United States is dead before he even crossed the Delaware River!  That means that, as many serious events such as the defeating of the Hessians at Trenton, the United States would not be the United States that we know today if Washington is really dead.  That can't be good.  All the children have on them are the clothes on their back and their...iPhones.  What can Mel, Bev, and Brandon possibly do to save the future so that they have a home to return to?  Can history be saved?  Read the exciting The Left Behinds: The iPhone that Saved George Washington to find out!

My review:
David Potter made an enjoyable Middle Grade novel that conveyed an adventurous story chalk full of American history in an enjoyable way.  This story was entertaining and amusing at the same time.  I really enjoyed the humor and the way that certain historical figures were portrayed.  For example, Benjamin Franklin was so inquisitive, always asking questions to which Mel had trouble answering himself.  However, I will say that the way that George Washington was represented, I did not particularly like him.  I found him to be a bit rude at times, but I still find his character to be quite amusing at other moments, especially when trying to understand the explanation of the present.

The story was really imaginative, a sure grabber for many young readers.  I can fondly remember my fourth grade teacher reading to my class George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff and this brought back memories of that.  While they both had similar elements to them, I loved David Potter's reiteration of history and his covering of some myths that are frequently brought up, such as George Washington possessing wooden teeth.  The mystery of the iPhones working was what kept me turning the pages.  I wanted to know just how George Washington could have been killed when this fact completely deviates from the rest history.  The alternate route and how it exactly came to be was excellently approached, and this was a great setup for the rest of this series.  I would gladly enjoy continuing on with it.  Young readers will surely be left wanting more after reading the ending of this book!

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