Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dangerous Crossing: The Revolutionary Voyage of John Quincy Adams by Stephen Krensky Annotation #6

Krensky, S. (2005). Dangerous voyage: The revolutionary voyage of John Quincy
. Illustrated by Greg Harlin. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.

Book Type/Pages:


Grade Level:

This book would be appropriate for grades kindergarten through fifth.

Curriculum Links:

I would use this book during social studies instruction.

Author Credibility:

In the author’s note, Krensky indicates that he wrote this story based on John Adams’ own diary. He indicates that the diary was written with “scrupulous” detail.


2006 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People; 2006-2007 Keystone to Reading Book Award nominee

Book Summary:

This book was about voyage that John Adams, and his ten year old son, John Quincy Adams took in 1778 from Massachusetts to France seeking financial assistance with the Revolutionary War. The Boston and her passengers encountered many scary things during their trip. They sustained a huge storm, attack from British frigates, and encounters with merchant ships. The trip ended in success when they reached their port and played an instrumental part in securing much needed aid from the French in the Revolutionary War.

National/State Standards:

The social studies standards addressed are Individual Development and Identity, Power, Authority, and Governance, and Individuals, Groups, and Institutions.


The illustrations have a great impact on this book. They are done in watercolor, and have an overall brown tone to them, as if to show age. Details are shown on faces, which give a clear understanding of what the people are feeling at the time. The large illustrations on each page would be enjoyed by all ages that read this book.

Access Features:

Important access features in this book are a map at the beginning of the book that shows the journey made from Massachusetts to France. It has important points along the path that show the reader how the events in the story affect the path. This book also includes an author’s note at the end of the story that gives more information on John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams and what they achieved in their lifetimes.

Use in My Classroom:

I would use this book during a study of the United States Presidents, as a part of President’s Day, or in conjunction with a unit on the Revolutionary War.

My Response to the Book:

I thought this was a very good book. I did not know that young Johnny Adams went with his father to France to secure aid from France during the American Revolution. The trip was also made in winter, so the threat to safety was even greater. As I was reading this book, I feel like I could almost smell the rank, putrid smells onboard the ship. The way the text was written was very vivid.

Related Texts:

Books about the Revolutionary War:

Fight for Freedom: The American Revolutionary War by Benson Bobnick
Liberty or Death: The American Revolution: 1763-1783 by Betsy Maestro
George vs. George: The Revolutionary War as Seen by Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer
Let It Begin Here!: Lexington and Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution by
Dennis Brindell Frandin

1 comment:

Debbie Vanderford said...

This looks like a great book to use in my 5th grade social studies class. I love to use primary source documents such as journal entries with my lessons. It seems to make it more real to the students. Also, I like to use that type of writing with my students where they pretend to be the historical character and write journal entries about their adventures. It's always good to give them models from which to draw.