Lafayette is the latest edition to Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series. Hale’s series of books are graphic novels that fictionalize American history. Other titles in this series include: Raid of No Return (1942 bombing raid on Japan) and Alamo All-Stars (the Battle of the Alamo in Texas).
All of Hale’s books are very funny, even though they are telling serious history. Lafayette tells the story of Gilbert du Motier, a Frenchman who inherited the title of Marquis de Lafayette. Alexander Hamilton or George Washington are much more famous names associated with the American Revolution, but Lafayette fought alongside the rebelling colonists to bring freedom to the United States. Like I said, though, Hale makes this story funny. Benjamin Franklin, for example, is described as looking like “a friendly potato,” and when Lafayette is not very badly wounded, he woozily announces “GLORY AWAITS!” and tries to get back on his horse.
You might be asking: how does a French guy who gets wounded end up as a hero of the American Revolution? Lafayette was a captain in the French army, but was bored by the lack of combat. Hungry for adventure, Lafayette sailed to America to volunteer to fight against the British (the despised enemy of France for hundreds of years). Carrying letters of recommendation from French nobility, Lafayette approached the leaders of the Continental Army. Astonished at his impressive background, the Army gave him the rank of major general at nineteen and sent him to fight alongside George Washington. Lafayette proved himself at the Battle of Brandywine, saved Richmond, VA from almost certain British invasion, and led troops during the decisive Battle of Yorktown.
I have read several of the books in Nathan Hale series and enjoyed them all. Like the other Hale graphic novels, Lafayette is funny and informative. A reader of Lafayette learns a lot about the American Revolution; I was even able to catch an error on page 119 which gives the date of the Battle of Yorktown as 1871 (one hundred years after it happened).
I highly recommend Lafayette, especially for fans of graphic novels or history. You will learn so much about history and it won’t feel boring at all.