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written by Brian Pinaire

illustrated by Tom Burchell

The War of Independence Way opens with the Reds (the British redcoats), bullies from Crown Township, blasting Massachusetts Avenue boys with paintballs (the Boston Massacre) on the orders of their leader, Georgie King (King George III), the richest kid around and the worst eighth grader in history. Members of Down with Crown, a “secret society,” get revenge by dumping lemonade over Georgie’s head rather than pay “taxes” on their profits. Which works out well . . . except that it starts a war that Independence Way seems to have no chance of winning.

Because the neighborhood needs her, GW (George Washington) reluctantly leads the Independence Warriors. But despite early victories, such as crossing Delaware Creek to humiliate Georgie in his own school, the Warriors, already under-resourced, become completely overwhelmed. GW hatches a plan that is either fantastically brilliant or incredibly stupid: attacking the Reds inside the Taco Bell at York Road and Town Boulevard, while also gathering “sensitive” information on them to make them give up.

Eventually, Georgie surrenders (sort of), but without something to be against, the kids wonder what it is they are for. Will Independence Way remain thirteen separate blocks, or can the neighborhood become “united streets”?

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Meet the Author

Brian Pinaire is an author, editor, and former college professor. He holds a BA in politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and a PhD in political science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Pinaire was an instructor in political science and expository writing courses while at Rutgers, and, for over a decade, he taught constitutional law and politics, American government, and legal philosophy at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he won several awards for teaching and research. He has published two other books—The Constitution of Electoral Speech Law, an academic treatise; and This Is Not Your Father’s Fatherhood, a humorous memoir and reflection on modern parenting—as well as several dozen articles for both academic journals and commercial outlets. 

Pinaire was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, but currently lives in Bend, Oregon. He is married and has two sons and one spoiled dog. 

Press Kit


Format: Paperback

Pages:  175

ISBN PB: 978-1-958754-43-6

Release Date: 1/8/2024


The War of Independence Way breathes new life into the story of the American Revolution. Pinaire translates his clear command of this history into a retelling that is as lucid and thorough as it is enlightening and entertaining. Set in contemporary times, The War of Independence Way takes young readers though the entirety of the struggle for independence within an urban landscape that is filled with refreshingly youthful characters who reflect and respect the inclusive ideals of Pinaire’s audience. Pinaire’s vivacious account is superbly detailed. Readers will cheerfully discover all of the necessary players and events to comprehend this formative chapter in American history while being gracefully spared the tedium of differentiating between the oft-indistinguishable, colorless names and dates of textbooks past. Here, Pinaire’s history is fun, engaging, and memorable. This is an invigorating story for history students and seasoned veterans alike.”

—Wag Harrison, author of The Presidents Did What? and The Presidents Did What, Again? 


“From battles to Taco Bell, The War of Independence Way has all the things my kids love best—action, tacos, and relatable kids.  It also has the things love best as a mom and political scientist—meaningful stories to share with my children about history, politics, and the struggles for democracy.  Brian Pinaire’s book has prompted us to look up more details about the real history, and it’s a maybe not-so-secret joy of parenting to revisit things I first learned about as a kid in school, except in a much more fun way and in discussion with my own kids. It makes those thirty minutes before bedtime feel like a two-fer!”

—Jennifer Schenk Sacco, professor of political science

Meet the Illustrator

Tom Burchell has more than seven years’ and fifteen books’ worth of experience illustrating children’s books. He graduated from the University of Creative Arts with a BA in computer game arts, but his love of cartoons brought him to children’s illustration. He finds joy drawing however and whatever he likes. 

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