The Year of the Hangman is a novel that was written by Gary Blackwood and published in 2002. This novel is a historical fiction work that is geared towards young adults. Blackwood has authored many books for younger readers, and they have all been well received. For its part, The Year of the Hangman was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year in 2002. This novel was set during the American Revolution.
During this time, the British and the Americans are fighting, and spies are everywhere. From average neighbors to people who were sent to specific places to spy, no one was safe from being exposed during this time period. The Year of the Hangman is set in 1777, one year after the start of the American Revolution. The protagonist of The Year of the Hangman is named Creighton Brown, who is only fifteen years old. He had been shipped away from Great Britain to the colonies, and he is quite disdainful of the English government. When he arrives at the American colonies, he finds that George Washington is awaiting execution and that the disdain he has for King George III is somewhat common here. Creighton happens to meet Benjamin Franklin, and they become friends; Creighton gets a job in Franklin’s print shop, where he prints the newspaper “Liberty Tree” that has been banned by the British but still spread around underground. However, Creighton is to spy on Franklin and the American rebels. As he discovers secrets that are kept on both sides, Creighton must decide which side to take.