A fifteen-year-old American Revolutionary is taken prisoner and held in a manor house in England. While spiteful Uncle Laurence seems determined to make escape (and life in general) as difficult as possible for the "Reb", he is befriended by the children of the household, who quickly become his "Redcoats". One shenanigan after another ensues, because the Reb is set upon breaking free. But the ties of friendship and trust also grow strong between the prisoner and his captors, which may change a great many things in the future.
Excellent. Good and bad are clearly distinguished. And virtues such as honesty, loyalty, humility, and courtesy are a focus for the characters.
At one point Uncle Laurence forbids the children to look for the Reb, and they disobey him, but this is only because they believe he is being being treated cruelly where he is. At another point Uncle Laurence, out of spite to the Reb, orders the children not to talk to the lad. Charlotte does so in order to try to cheer the Reb up.
Throughout most of the book, it is noted that the Reb's one great flaw is pride, and he often exhibits it to his elders and superiors. This, however, is mainly due to the fact that these superiors are his enemies in the war. It is never portrayed as a good thing, and over time he overcomes this fault.
All of the characters are Christian, and are portrayed praying and attending church. One scene features a home service with the reading of a sermon.
Reb's unfortunate friend Tim Wingate gets injured offstage several times, but it is never really described.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Some wine drinking, but never to excess.
None at all.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
None. At one point George tells the Reb that when Charlotte gets angry, they call her "Snarly Sharly", which the Reb seems to disapprove of.
The Reb loses his temper and calls Uncle Laurence a "Scarlet Lobsterback", a reference to his British uniform.
An extremely entertaining book with strong family values. All of the characters, especially the plucky young hero, are extremely endearing. The book is very humorous, and might be a good introduction to the revolutionary war for younger children who are not yet ready for violent accounts.