Publisher's Description: Discover the story of the girl who sewed the American flag that inspired the lyrics of the National Anthem in this beautifully illustrated celebration of our country’s iconic symbol for freedom.
Caroline Pickersgill came from a family of the best flag makers in Baltimore. She and her family proudly stitched the grand flag that gallantly whipped in the wind over Fort McHenry.
But when the British attacked Baltimore on September 12, 1814, would those broad stripes and bright stars still wave strong? Would America still be free and remain the home of the brave?
Nugget: A thirteen-year-old girl is a third generation flag maker, during the war of 1812; along with her family and the women in the house, she makes a flag so large that the British can see it from miles away.
NE: I open with simple sewing words. This book is intended for the younger audience. In the very opening of the book, we establish that Caroline comes from a family of the best flag makers.
Escalation: I escalate from making the flag through the British marching into Baltimore through that fateful night in September 1814 when Francis Scott Key is held on a boat and looks out a portal window while young Caroline looks out bedroom window; both wondering if the American flag still waves.
SE: I end with the famous line from our National Anthem adding context and symbolism- Her first flag, waving goodbye to the British, who were leaving the Home of The Brave.
Source: Besides having assistance from the Flag House Museum (the home of Caroline Pickersgill and where the flag was made), I listed several books and locations.
SW: My show words are words from the National Anthem as well as onomatopoeia since this book is intended for the younger audience.
Why: I am a new American, Greek. But this country brings forth pride in me that shines like the fireworks on the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, I don't think Children are taught patriotism today.
NW: Caroline wants to help her family, but she needs to know that the flag makes it through the night. If the flag is still waving, this means the British didn't tear it down, they didn't win, we aren't under British rule again. Falling under British rule for Caroline would mean her livelihood since the British still opposed women-owned business and property. It would mean higher taxes and stricter laws.
This book has come under fire because of Grace Wisher, the indentured servant. First let me tell you that I have a copy of Grace's indentured servant papers, and the contract established by her mother and Mary Pickersgill, as well as the letter first written. I take my research seriously. Unfortunately, there is not enough material available to write a story and do justice to the truth including the fact that Grace was either 13, 15, or 16 according to the letters. Unfortunately for an illustrator to depict Grace, I felt that it would be demeaning. Grace was a servant PERIOD. Her clothes were not the same quality as the ladies of the house or their family. How could I tell a story about a girl, who helped to something so fabulous, yet show her dresses less than equal? How could I write a book without enough facts and still be nonfiction? How could I write a book about a girl when it was her mother I admire ten times more. Yes, to me Jenny Wisher was the hero. If I could write about anyone, it would have been her. A mom that loved her child so much that she would approach a big time business owner (think of you or I approaching Bill Gates) and make a deal, Jenny did that for her child. She wanted a better life for her child.
What happens now? Well, we keep tearing down all of the authors that do extensive research because they don't tell the story that we want to hear. And eventually we will have no stories being told, and parts of history will be lost.