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Libby McNamee
Dolley Madison and the War of 1812: America's First Lady
Dolley Madison faces a bitterly divided Washington City when her husband, James Madison, becomes our fourth president. The prospect of war against Great Britain threatens to tear our fragile republic apart. The "Presidentess" hosts open parties in the new President's House to unite political foes and cultivate an American identity. When President Madison declares war with disastrous results, Dolley carries on, ignoring the threats against her. However, as British soldiers march toward Washington City, she becomes their target. Now America's Second War of Independence hinges on her. What must she do to save the United States while also saving herself? The true story of a woman with humble Quaker roots who rallies America during the War of 1812!

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: This is an entrancing work that captivates readers from the first sentence. Though billed as a young-adult novel, this fascinating historical account will appeal to fans of all ages, as it follows Dolley Madison's heroic attempts to unify America at the start of her husband's presidency.

Prose: McNamee is clearly a gifted writer with a flair for storytelling. The prose is clear, concise, and engaging, bringing the time period to vivid life, and readers will be swept into the retelling.

Originality: Despite the well-known premise of the novel, McNamee manages to make the story her own, and her attention to detail portrays historical events accurately without sacrificing artistry in the recounting. 

Character Development/Execution: McNamee expertly develops her characters, most notably with Dolley—a lively protagonist who both enchants and inspires. 

Blurb: A fascinating story that brings history to life, Dolley Madison and the War of 1812 is a treat for readers of all ages.

Date Submitted: August 30, 2022