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July 10, 2007

Local author's "Red Thunder" follows young spies at Yorktown

Young readers can experience the excitement of the world of espionage in Colonial Williamsburg’s newly published “Red Thunder,” a historical novel by John P. Hunter. The novel follows the adventures of 14-year-old Nate Chandler and his enslaved friend James, as they went about the dangerous business of espionage which helped defeat the British Army and win the American Revolution.

Inspired by the true story of James Armistead, a slave who belonged to William Armistead of New Kent County, Va., who enlisted with the Continental forces under General Lafayette, “Red Thunder” brings the Revolution to life for young readers. Nate, James and Nate’s huge dog Rex move between the opposing armies amid thundering cannons and flashing swords under a sky red with flame.

The Reading Tub, an online children’s book reviewer, calls the book “…a page turner of the first order… presents political and social realties of the time objectively and fairly.” The book is aimed at readers between eight and 14 and has been praised for its storytelling and its history by teachers who have reviewed the book for Colonial Williamsburg.

Author John P. Hunter lives in Yorktown, the location for the novel, and is the author of “Link to the Past, Bridge to the Future,” also published by Colonial Williamsburg.

“Red Thunder” is available for $7.95 at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers® in Colonial Williamsburg’s Visitor Center, by phone at 1-800-446-9240 or at

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the foundation’s preservation, research, and educational programs.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121