A Drop of Mercy
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: A Drop of Mercy
Author: Becky McGurrin
Major Themes: Mennonites, Nonresistance, Pacifism, Pennsylvania, Family Read-alouds, Historical Fiction, American Revolution, Books for Boys
Synopsis: When the war comes to his backyard, and his friend is killed in front of him, can Heinrich ever forgive his enemy?
I am appreciating that there are now a few books about the American Revolution, written from an Anabaptist perspective. A Drop of Mercy is a particularly good one. It’s not only the story of the war, but also of a young man trying to find his way in life.
Heinrich was a teenager living with his family in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1777 when the Revolutionary War reached their town. He didn’t have much use for the British army—but neither was he impressed with the Continentals. In his experience, they were all a bunch of thieves. How could his mother so calmly give their food to the militia men who came to the door? And then, things got even worse—a battle raged in the backyard and one of the British soldiers he had come to consider a friend was murdered before his eyes. Could he ever forgive the Continental soldier who had done it? And when the man was at his mercy, what would he do?
After the battle, Heinrich’s father decided it would be good for the young man to get away from Germantown for awhile. Could he find the answers he sought for the problems in his life, at his uncle’s house two days’ walk away?
As I mentioned before, this is a very good story. It speaks directly to the struggles most young men have. I asked my teenage boys what they got out of this book, and one of them mentioned that what spoke to him the most was that we need to show mercy especially to those to whom we do not want to show mercy to. Our need for God’s salvation also comes through clearly.
If you are interested in a slightly different perspective of the American Revolution than is usually taught, read A Drop of Mercy—it will show you what people in the “peace churches” experienced during that war. However, if you prefer the view of history popularly promoted by mainstream patriotic Christian churches, don’t bother with this book; you won’t like it.
Read Aloud—Ages 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above
Links to buy A Drop of Mercy:
Keywords: Mennonites, Nonresistance, Pacifism, Pennsylvania, Family Read-alouds, Historical Fiction, American Revolution, Books for Boys