My friend, Michelle, throws so many good books my way. Toliver's Secret by Esther Wood Brady published in 1976 is a good example of why I love living next door to Michelle.
This is a good book to introduce a young reader to the Revolutionary War. With illustrations, lots of white space, and larger font, your young reader won't be overwhelmed with this historical fiction. The Lexile measure is 740L making this just right for middle grade readers.
Ellen's grandfather needs her to take a secret message to a courier who will get the message to George Washington, but Ellen is a shy, timid girl who doesn't think she is brave enough to cross a body of water on her own. She is only ten years old and can't even stand up to the neighborhood bully who kicks her out of line each morning at the well.
If Ellen gets caught, her grandfather will hang as a traitor and spy. Things don't go as planned for Ellen, and the trip puts her in more danger than her grandfather ever realized.
I like the growth in Ellen. She showed courage because of her love for her grandfather. She started out afraid and shy, but when she dresses and acts like a boy it helps her to overcome her weaknesses because she is being someone else. I loved her ingenuity in overcoming each obstacle she faced.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.