Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch
Five paw prints! When the American colonists decided to rebel against British rule in the hopes of becoming an independent country, many men left their homes to join General Washington and the Continental Army. Most of these volunteers were young men and older boys. There was one important exception to this unwritten rule and his name was Christopher Ludwick. He was born in Germany, learned to be a baker, spent time in the Austrian and Prussian armies, and eventually settled in Philadelphia and married. In Philadelphia he became a successful and generous baker. When the American Revolution began he wanted to help defend the new country he loved. Some people thought he was too old to help the Continental Army, but George Washington had a special job that only Christopher could do. Not only would Christopher become one of the main bakers for the entire Continental Army, but Christopher could speak in German to the soldiers who were hired by the British king to fight the colonists. As a result, many of these Hessian soldiers decided to change sides and join the Continental Army. Christopher Ludwick is a little known American hero who more people should learn about. This book is now one of my all time favorite non-fiction picture books. I had never heard of Christopher Ludwick and I’m so happy to know about him now. He was such an interesting and generous man, and more students should and could learn so much from him. And the illustrations...so wonderful. Who knew gingerbread illustrations could be used to help tell such an important story? To learn more about Christopher Ludwick visit http://articles.philly.com/2001-04-15/news/25329688_1_british-army-flour-bread (families...please be aware this is a Philadephia newspaper website, articles are always updated and you may want to review materials carefully with your child) or for students who like a challenege try http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Lieber_Collection/pdf/Life-and-Character-ofChristopherLudwick.pdf and finally you could visit http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=175. It will be well worth the visits.