Some tall tales are actually true. This is a grand one, told with rightful pride by a boy who was there in the city of Philadelphia in 1777 and was lucky enough to play a role in the American Revolution. John Jacob Mickley, eleven years old, and his father were in the city when the Great Bell began ringing Brong! Brong! BRONG! from atop the State House to warn the citizens: "Redcoats! The Redcoats are coming!" And come the British did -- with their muskets and their cannons and their will to keep the colonies for their king. Looting they came and stealing any metal they could get their hands on to melt down for the making of more weapons. And the prize above all? The Great Bell itself -- metal for many a cannon! But the clever Pensylvanians (yes, the word was spelled like that then) had other plans for keeping the Bell safe from the British. Megan McDonald has aptly caught John Jacob's excited retelling of the story, and Marsha Gray Carrington has relished every wild and wooly moment of it in her pictures -- both funny and carefully researched.
Megan McDonald, beloved author of the Judy Moody books, is also a gifted storyteller. She is the author of When the Library Lights Go Out, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson; The Hinky-Pink, illustrated by Brian Floca; and the now-classic Is This a House for Hermit Crab?, illustrated by S.D. Schindler. She lives in Sebastopol, California.