We recently checked out from the library The Boston Coffee Party by Doreen Rappaport.  As I was reading to my children, I was horrified by the message of the book!  I realize that this book is based on actual historical events, and I realize that war can be ugly - but I just felt that this book's message was unnecessary. 
    The story depicts a group of women in Boston during the Revolutionary war.  The women take offense to a 'greedy' shop owner who hoards luxury goods and sells them at a premium after all the other shops have run out.  They call the shop owner a scoundrel because he does not subscribe to the price-fixing of the local shops to artificially keep prices low during the war times.  Whatever your views on economics, what the women decide to do about the situation is despicable.  They organize a mob, march on the store owner, throw him in a cart and parade him around town before dumping him in the street, stealing his keys, and running off with every last ounce of his coffee supply - without paying him a dime!  Sure, 'price-gouging' may not be a very nice thing to do, but when is kidnapping and theft ever the correct answer to a situation? 
    I was highly relieved that my children lost interest in the story before I got to the end.  I would never want to teach them that it's ok to harm another person or steal their property just because they aren't 'being fair.'  It's one thing to recount historical facts, but entirely another to make acts like this out to be heroism, which this book certainly does.  So here is one book that I definitely don't love.  Reader beware!


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