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Book Review

The Redcoats are Coming! by Marianne Hering and Nancy I. Sanders has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the 13th book in “The Imagination Station” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

When cousins Patrick and Beth tell Mr. Whittaker that they are taking a vacation to Boston to see Revolutionary War sites, he sends them back in time to the American Revolution via the Imagination Station, a time travel machine. He also gives Patrick a letter to deliver to the patriot leader Paul Revere.

Upon their arrival in 1775 Concord, Massachusetts, Patrick and Beth learn the Committee of Safety is meeting. Sybil Clarke, a teenager from Lexington, Massachusetts, approaches them. She is collecting musket balls for the patriot militia and watching for loyalist spies. She invites Patrick and Beth to help her. While collecting musket balls from the delegates at the meeting, Patrick and Beth meet Samuel Adams and John Hancock, but find no trace of Revere.

Patrick hides the musket balls he’s collected in the saddlebags of Sybil’s horse. Two men approach Patrick and claim to be patriots. They discover he wants to give a letter to Revere. After questioning Patrick closely about what he is doing, they quickly leave. Patrick tells Sybil and Beth about the men. They are suspicious of the men’s interest.

The patriot leaders take the cousins and Sybil to Lexington, where they stay at the home of Sybil’s family, staunch patriots. Rev. Clarke, Sybil’s father, is the local minister. He welcomes them into his home. Patrick suggests setting out the next morning to travel to Boston to give his letter to Revere. But Sybil tells him that no one travels on Sundays out of respect for God.

After a sound sleep, the children wake up early Sunday morning and attend church services. Patrick realizes that he’s lost the letter to Revere. Sybil’s father preaches on the role of God in the government and the duty of Christians in politics. The church service is dismissed early because Revere rides into town. Patrick and Beth immediately run back to the house to find his letter.

Beth searches inside the house. One of the men that Patrick previously met chases her. He steps on a rotten stair and falls into the corncrib. Meanwhile Patrick searches the barn. The other loyalist, who pretended to be a patriot, attacks Patrick with a pitchfork. He and Patrick fight in the loft.

There, Patrick pulls up several floorboards and crawls through the floor to escape. Beth finds him, and the cousins run back to the house to alert the family to the spies. Adams and Hancock arrive.

The loyalists accuse Patrick and Beth of being the spies, not them. This prompts an investigation by the patriot leaders. The children are cleared by the discovery of the letter to Revere, which condemns the two men as spies.

Once the spies are under guard, Revere explains that he has ridden from Boston to tell Adams and Hancock that the British are moving into the country, attempting to take the patriots’ stores of gunpowder and weapons, as well as to arrest the leaders. Revere intends to ride to Concord to warn the patriots there to be ready to defend themselves.

That night, the cousins hear bells ringing. Revere tells Adams and Hancock to leave; the British are on their way. He also explains that he never made it to Concord because British soldiers stopped him. Patrick, Beth and Sybil volunteer to ride to Concord and warn the people because they will be less suspicious than a grown man.

The children ride out of Lexington before there is gunfire. They ride to Concord, warning people along the way.

Patrick and Beth see the Imagination Station near the Concord bridge. They say goodbye to Sybil. Patrick and Beth must run hard to reach it before the British capture them.

They safely jump inside, but not before a bullet hits the Imagination Station, creating a large hole. Patrick pushes the button to send them back to Whit’s End, but the machine takes them somewhere they don’t expect. They land on a ship somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, still during the American Revolution.

Christian Beliefs

Patrick and Beth pray for guidance and help from God. They go to church along with Sybil’s family. Her father is a minister. The preaching during the service focuses on how Christians should participate in their government and fight against injustice. The young and old attend church services.

When Patrick suggests that he and Beth travel to Boston on Sunday to deliver a letter to Revere, Sybil explains that no one travels on Sundays. They rest on that day to show their respect for God. The colonial leaders invoke God’s blessing on their endeavors and their fight for independence, as well as their everyday activities, such as praying before meals.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Hancock and Adams are leaders of the Committee of Safety and the patriot uprising. They tell people how things should be done. When Patrick and Beth expose the two loyalist spies, the patriot leaders act cautiously. Rev. Clarke uses his authority as a minister to admonish his congregation to fight injustice and participate in government.


Patrick and Beth hide from the loyalist spies. One grabs Beth, and the other fights Patrick. One of the spies falls into the corncrib. Men fight the British and die on the Lexington green. None of the events are graphically described.



Discussion Topics

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Additional Comments/Notes

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

7 and up


Marianne Hering and Nancy I. Sanders






Record Label



A Focus on the Family book in association with Tyndale House Publishers Inc.


On Video

Year Published





We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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