George Washington's Socks

by Elvira Woodruff

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What is the mood of George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff?

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The definition of mood in a work of literature is the overall feeling that the writer creates for the reader.  I would say that the mood of George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff is one of humor and anticipation.  Most of the humor in the book has to do with the children’s misunderstandings (and the soldiers’ misunderstandings) when they go back in time to meet George Washington.  The people, both adults and children, are confused by the dress and the speech from another time.  This creates some interesting interactions, as the kids talk about television while George Washington’s men talk about these strange beings’ “foreign” clothes.  On the other hand, anticipation can be felt on two levels in the book.  All of the children (Katie, Quentin, Hooter, Tony, and Matthew) feel anticipation due to the Revolutionary War events they are experiencing first-hand, such as the surprises of the Battle of Trenton and the question as to how the soldiers survived along the Delaware River during a particularly harsh winter.  There is also a large amount of anticipation (and worry) from the children about returning to their own time period.

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The mood of George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff is in part humorous, in addition to being suspenseful. For example, when Matt starts on his adventure, he is depressed that he has to bring his kid sister, Katie, along with him. The first thing she does when the Adventure Club is camping is to ask for her blanket (page 6).

Another example of humor in the book is after Matt and the other members of the Adventure Club travel back in time to meet George Washington. Hooter, another member of the club, asks, "Are we on television?" (page 36). An officer in Washington's boat says that the kids' "dress is foreign" (page 36). A lot of the humor in this section of the book has to do with the difficulty of the kids to understand the ways of life of George Washington and his troops and the difficulty that Washington and his men have understanding kids from a totally different time period. While the kids go on an adventure that is at times scary, they also have a lot of laughs along the way. 

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The mood of Elvira Woodruff’s young adult book George Washington’s Socks is apprehensive and suspenseful.

A group of neighborhood adolescents set out for a walk around a local lake when their lives take an interesting turn in history. Matthew, Quentin, Hooter, Tony, and Katie are drawn to a seemingly magical wooden boat, which takes them back to Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War. The children experience the difficulties and tribulations endured by the Hessian and Revolutionary soldiers as they lived through the cold, brutal winter conditions on the Delaware River. During their war time experiences, the children have a chance meeting with George Washington.

Throughout their adventure, they are filled with awe and suspense but they are also apprehensive about how they will return to their everyday lives.

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