In A Young Patriot, Murphy has an ideal historical figure for a young adult book about the Revolutionary War: Joseph Plumb Martin was in his early teens when he set off to war, and his experiences thus provide not only a version of the war from a common soldier's point of view, but also an account of events from the perspective of a young adult. Joseph is straightforward in the telling of his adventures, relating the bad with the good, even noting his own failures. Murphy fleshes out the history of Joseph's life and creates a satisfying biography of a good-hearted, courageous young man who stuck with the war effort while many grown men gave up. Joseph's narrative makes historical events come alive because Joseph actually fought, actually starved, actually endured all of the war's hardships, unlike some of the commentators whose accounts are more widely known.
(The entire section is 147 words.)