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Bookwatch, January 2020 One If By Land, Two If By Submarine

Synopsis: When Paul Revere is kidnapped by a time traveler who is determined to change the outcome of the American Revolution, thirteen-year-old Kep Westguard is sent back in time to Boston, 1775, to take Revere’s place on that famous midnight ride.

Kep’s four-person team has twenty-four hours to light the famous lanterns at Old North Church, warn Lexington and Concord that the British are coming, and rescue John Hancock and Samuel Adams from hanging as traitors to the crown. As the clock ticks, one teammate is arrested as a runaway slave, a British watchman stops another from lighting the lanterns, and Kep nearly drowns when he attempts to cross the Charles River in a Patriot inventor’s prototype wooden, hand-crank submarine.

When Hancock and Adams ask Kep to sneak a trunk of critical papers out from under the eyes of the British Army during the Battle of Lexington, Kep has to decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice for his country. If he fails, there will be no America to return to!

Critique: A deftly crafted and simply riveting read from first page to last, Eileen Schnabel’s “One If By Land, Two If By Submarine” is an extraordinary science fiction story by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a remarkably effective narrative storytelling style. All the more impressive when considering that “One If By Land, Two If By Submarine” is Schnabel’s debut as a novelist, this first volume of a planned series is especially and unreservedly recommended for both school and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections for young readers. It should be noted for the personal reading list of all dedicated science fiction fans that “One If By Land, Two If By Submarine” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

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