Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
I read this to determine if we'd use it this year for American History. The characters were interesting and real. It was great to see Johnny grow and change and overcome some unsavory personal characteristics.
I loved the weaving in and out of famous American patriots. The little snippets we see of Paul Revere or John Hancock and others were so well done.
I'm not sure if I'll be reading it to my 9, 8 and 5 yr old though. I felt like the philosophical ideas might be above them. I really want them to enjoy this book and be able to discuss it, and I'm not sure they are at that age yet. It also deals with some sad and sometimes disturbing things (well, it's war). I'm still pondering what age to use it. Most likely as an independent read when they're a bit older.
Very highly recommended though.