Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution: A Handbook for Time Travelers

Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution: A Handbook for Time Travelers

In 2164, Time Corp published a series of guides for time travelers, since time travel devices are standard issue in homes, and there is a Time Patrol to fix any problems that wayward time travelers create. Luckily, copies of the books were found in New York City in 2018, and republished for modern readers. Time Corp is headed by the megalomaniac Finn Greenquill, who gets ample mention in footnotes throughout the book.

With such an introduction, we can expect The Thrifty Guides to be much more amusing than Lucent's Travel Guides or Lerner's Passports to History, which are much better at laying out information that actual time travelers might need. While there is good information about what to wear and eat, the main concern of this book is staying alive in the midst of different military actions or while spying. There are some nice overviews of historical figures with whom one might like to eat lunch, and enough information about daily life to keep a time traveler out of trouble, but the main concern is the military action. There are even maps.

This will be very helpful to students who have to study these battles in school-- I know that our 8th grade does some large units on Bunker Hill and Concord and have to actually make maps of battle strategies, so the maps included in this book, and the explanations for why the battles occurred, will be very helpful. The asides and additional humorous information make the history more accessible and interesting to readers who are new to the material.

My quibble is that I wish more social history was covered in school. How did people dress, what did they eat, where did they shop-- how did they go about their everyday life. What were the social mores? How did families work? What jobs did people have? This information is constantly neglected in the classroom, as well as in historical nonfiction. That said, this quibble is not so much with The Thrifty Guides as it is with the general approach to history, and I am clearly in the minority on this one. The Thrifty Guides are a nice supplement to topics covered in middle school social studies and could be put to good use in the classroom setting, as well as for pleasure reading. 

160 pages    978-0451479617     Ages 8-12

Recommended by:  Karen Yingling, Library Specialist, Ohio USA

See more of her recommendations:


From the publishing house that brought you the Who Was? books comes the next big series to make history approachable, engaging, and funny!

The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution provides useful information for the practical time traveler, like:

• Where can I find a decent hotel room in colonial New England? Are major credit cards accepted? • How do I join the Boston Tea Party without winding up in a British prison? • How can I score a lunch with Alexander Hamilton?

This guide answers these fiery, burning questions with the marshmallows of information. There is handy advice on how to join Paul Revere’s spy ring at the Green Dragon Tavern, how to enlist in General Washington’s rebel army, and how to summon the strength to storm a British gun battery when you haven’t eaten for three days.

If you had a time travel machine and could take a vacation anywhere in history, this is the only guidebook you would need!

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