The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington

Ages: 8 - 12Publisher: Macmillan USA Narrator: Scott BrickAuthor: Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

When we first meet General George Washington in Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch’s The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, he is huddled with the Continental army under his command in a wooded area near New York City. General Washington and his soldiers are preparing to face an invasion from the elite fleet of the Royal British Navy, by whom they are vastly outnumbered. Though Washington doesn’t realize it at the time, he will soon be faced with an equally serious threat from his fellow colonists, a group of whom have recently been conspiring together to assassinate him. Woven together from pension requests, transcripts of secret court proceedings, and personal letters from Washington’s associates, The First Conspiracy is the previously untold story of the plot to kill Washington and the remarkable series of events through which the plot was discovered and the conspirators were brought to justice. For the Young Reader Edition of the audiobook, Meltzer (the author of popular political suspense novels) and Mensch (a historian and documentary filmmaker) have abridged their bestselling adult novel for younger readers, for whom its breathless pace and dramatic language (“The entire future of America could be at stake, and time is running out!”) is ideally suited. The book is rich in historical detail, providing vivid depictions of colonial life at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, including colorful portrayals of the major players in the drama: New York Governor William Tryon and New York City Mayor David Matthews, the two British loyalists who hatched the plot; William Hickey, one of Washington’s personal bodyguards, who betrayed the general he was assigned to protect; future Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay, who led the investigation; and, of course, Washington himself. Voice actor Scott Brick narrates with an eagerness and intensity that makes the story’s events feel as if they were happening today.

 

David Shirley ©2020 Parents’ Choice

David Shirley’s recent nonfiction titles include A History of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fix It Leroy! His YA biographies, Every Day I Sing the Blues: The Story of B. B. King and Satchel Paige: Baseball Legend were honored as the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens.

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