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21 January, 2009

Book Review: Amelia's War by Ann Rinaldi

Another book set in the American Civil War. I'm loving the fact that my "to be read soon" basket had a second book from the same time-frame as the Halifax Connection (which I reviewed last week) from another viewpoint of the war, in a totally different setting. I was wanting to read more historical fiction from this era of history after finishing The Halifax Connection

Scholastic Press
Publish Date 1999

Amelia Grafton’s life is changing in ways she didn’t expect. She and her family live in the Pro-Union state of Maryland. Her family supports the Union. But as the Civil War progresses and comes closer to her hometown it seems like everyone is slowly choosing sides with the Union or the Confederates. Everyone, it seems except her good friend Josh. Who is determined to keep a neutral outlook on the war in order to write well informed and truthful stories about the battles being fought around them for his father’s paper the Hagerstown Mail.

The War moves closer, with Lee’s forces invading Hagerstown three times. The final time there is even fighting in the town square! Amelia and her family struggle to keep their lives going as they had before the war. Her older brother Wes runs off to join the Union forces and Amelia is faced with the fact that he may not survive the battles being fought. Through it all, Amelia must decide how she can stay true to her own belief’s and figure out what she can do to help the war effort when the right time comes.

Amelia’s War is written by Ann Rinaldi, who has written many historical fiction stories. She based her story on the ransom of Hagerstown, Maryland, which happened the first week of July in 1864. She writes an informative story that sets a fictitious family into a well documented part of the American Civil War. This is the second book written by Ann Rinaldi that I have read, and I enjoyed it a lot. She has a way of writing that puts the reader right into the lives of her characters. I enjoyed seeing the war through the eyes of a young girl. It gave me a different insight to what was happening during that time frame. This is a fantastic look into how the Civil War affected the everyday life of the people who lived in the areas being fought on. I would recommend this book for any older child who is wanting to learn about the American Civil War.

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