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Last Updated on May 14, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 129

Atheneum Books for Young Readers published Washington City Is Burning in 1996 as a Jean Karl Book.

This historical novel transpires during a pivotal time in the War of 1812. It portrays the adventures of a White House child slave, Virginia. As a servant to President Madison and his wife,...

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Atheneum Books for Young Readers published Washington City Is Burning in 1996 as a Jean Karl Book.

This historical novel transpires during a pivotal time in the War of 1812. It portrays the adventures of a White House child slave, Virginia. As a servant to President Madison and his wife, Virginia witnesses the invasion of the British soldiers who burn Washington City, including the White House, in 1814.

The novel gives enormous insight into the lives of slaves during this era, as well as glimpses into the lives of the United States president, his family, friends, and political partners. Washington City Is Burning shows the complexity of slavery, the anger as well as the compassion inherent in difficult times, and the ability of young adults to overcome odds in pursuit of justice.

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