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One April in Boston

The Gift of the Spyglass

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


One April in Boston is the story of a real American family and a gift that was passed down from generation to generation. The newly revised second edition (2015) contains 46 original pen and ink illustrations created by Cortney Skinner and additional content not found in the print version. This children’s book, written for ages 10-13, teaches not only American history, but the power of imagination and the value of goal setting.

In the book you’ll meet 10-year-old Ben Edwards, a boy who actually lived in Colonial Boston at the time of the American Revolution. An orphan at the age of eight, he lives with his Aunt Sarah and his Uncle Alexander Edwards, a member of the Sons of Liberty. Ben is growing up at an exciting time, and his uncle’s patriotic connections give special meaning to the events he experiences. 

Ben dreams of a life full of adventures at sea. He wants to be a mariner, just like his grandfather, an early Boston sea captain. Ben puts this goal in writing and never gives up on it. Throughout the story, he carries a spyglass that once belonged to his seafaring ancestor. Ben believes he can glimpse the future through its lens. Some family members make fun of his claim, but not his cousin Betsey. She is certain that Ben can truly see images of things to come through his spyglass.

In One April in Boston, you’ll meet Ben and his siblings and discover his passion for the sea. You’ll encounter his Uncle Alex, a cabinetmaker, and learn about his involvement in the Sons of Liberty. You’ll light the signal lanterns with Robert Newman and follow silversmith Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride to Lexington. Later, you’ll stand beside Ben and his cousin Betsey as they hear the Declaration of Independence being read for the first time in Boston.

According to family legend, in 1905 the spyglass was passed on to Ben’s great-great-grandson, Philip Edwards, who glimpses his own future through it. You’ll follow Phil as he travels to Boston in 1909 to learn more about his ancestors. In 1917, before he goes to France to fight for his country, 22-year-old Phil kisses his sweetheart Ella goodbye and realizes that the time has come to pass on his gift.

Customer Reviews

Educational Wonderful book

I went on a field trip to the freedom trail and
Ben L. Edwards (the author) was the tour guide. He knew so much about it I was surprised. His book is well thought. I love "One April In Boston" it is a great book!!!

My kid loved it!

Highly recommended!

One Book to Get

I downloaded the eBook One April in Boston on a Tuesday night.
I typically go to sleep at about 10 PM every night, but that Tuesday night turned quickly into Wednesday morning. I could not put this book down.

This is an incredible read. It reads like a movie. You find yourself engrossed in a story yet, you're learning history as well.

I told my 12-year-old nephew about it, and he finished it in two days. I think it is the fastest he has ever completed a book. He loved it, and his older brother is now reading it. This was an exciting story, yet sad and touching as well. It has all of the ingredients of a great movie.

I actually would have paid for this book and can't believe it's free.
This was great work by the author. I would fully recommend this book to kids as well as adults liike me who like a great story wrapped in the history of our country. Absolutely fantastic!

One April in Boston
View in iTunes
  • Free
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Jul 04, 2000
  • Publisher: Spyglass Books, LLC
  • Seller: Ben Edwards
  • Print Length: 144 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings