Through two sisters with widely differing attitudes, the author brings the first major battle of the Civil War to life. Historical accuracy and a lively plot combine to make this book useful in the classroom as well as a part of a young person's own library. 3 illustrations. Available now.
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Grade 5-8-A lightweight coming-of-age tale set at the beginning of the Civil War. Julia, the narrator, is a self-centered 15-year-old orphan who lives with her older and more mature sister, Louisa. As Washington, D.C. residents in 1861, the girls see war preparations daily, but Julia prefers to concentrate on clothes, shopping, and beaux. Her attitude changes when she is part of the civilian crowd that observes the first battle of Bull Run from a picnic site. By the nightmarish day's end, Julia has learned serious lessons and joins Louisa in working to support the Northern cause. Julia's quick transformation from selfish featherhead to sacrificing activist is unconvincing, and reflects problems with the book as a whole. Shallow characterizations, too-convenient coincidences, and a tendency toward exposition in the midst of action mar the pacing and detract from the author's efforts to maintain historical accuracy. The jacket blurb's comparison of this book with Crane's classic The Red Badge of Courage is wide of the mark and then some. Carolyn Reeder's Shades of Gray (S & S, 1989) and Nancy Johnson's My Brothers' Keeper (Down East, 1997) are better choices, as is Ann Rinaldi's fiction covering the period.
Starr E. Smith, Marymount University Library, Arlington, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description White Mane. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. From the Young Americans - BRAND NEW Softcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory # 19829
Book Description White Mane Pub, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1572491337