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Mountain Valor School & Library Binding – May, 1996

6 customer reviews

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School & Library Binding, May, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Based on a true story embellished by folklore, this account of a North Carolina mountain girl's courage paints a realistic, stark picture of the Civil War while preserving the flavor and customs of long-ago Appalachia. While her father, brothers and uncle are off fighting opposite sides of the war, 11-year-old Valor, her mother, a young cousin and two faithful servants are left to run the farm. Two vicious raids by Yankee soldiers leave the family ravaged and without livestock. Vowing revenge, Valor sets out to retrieve the animals and murder the red-bearded soldier who was especially villainous. Disguised as a boy and armed with two of her father's guns, Valor undertakes a dangerous journey to the enemy campsite, along the way experiencing a frightening encounter with a grizzly bear. At the campsite, the young heroine nearly accomplishes her mission, drugging the soldiers and rounding up the livestock, but when the opportunity comes to kill her sworn enemy, Valor cannot bring herself to take a life. Houston ( Littlejim ; My Great - Aunt Arizona ), who grew up in the Appalachian mountains, offers a profound definition of bravery in this engrossing adventure story. Her evocative prose expresses the terror, determination and stoicism of women and children left on the home front. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Valor, a young girl in the North Carolina Appalachians during the Civil War, struggles to live up to her name as the war drags on and her family's farm is raided by marauders. Unfortunately, the author attempts to pack too much into her story, hammering away at the meaning of courage and the strength of women in spite of their societal limitations. As a result, the plot is stiff and forced, and the characters are never fully developed. Houston has moments of eloquence when describing the beauty of the mountains or the aching pain of separation caused by war. Yet when she focuses back on Valor's story, her writing becomes melodramatic and repetitious. She conveys the girl's anger, fear, and frustration, but fails to provide a continuous flow in the plot for readers to understand the passage of time as the years unfold. In the opening chapters, Valor is 10, but is described as if she were much younger, and 5 years later, she seems unchanged in maturity. When the raiders return near the end of the war, brutalizing the family and taking their livestock, Valor disguises herself as a boy to avenge her family and retrieve their property. This crucial sequence of events falls flat with unbelievable turns. As with Houston's Littlejim (Philomel, 1990), set in the Appalachians of the early 1900s, Mountain Valor is based on a true story from the author's family history. Full of potential, it falls short in execution, lacking the engaging plot and steady tension of the earlier novel.
Sandy Kirkpatrick, Benicia Public Library, CA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • School & Library Binding
  • Publisher: Topeka Bindery (May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613003985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613003988
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,154,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Harrell on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mountain Valor is written by Gloria Houston, and it is set in the Appalachian Mountains. Valor is named after a medal that her father received. Her father and one of her brothers were fighting for the South, while her uncle Tom and her other brother were fighting for the North. The family hated to be divided by the awful war. Jed was her cousin and he was Tom's son. He was left in North Carolina as the man of the house even though he was 10 and Valor was 11. Valor didn't like acting like a lady, instead she wanted to be out hunting with Jed but Savannah tried to put a stop to it. Valor had a special hiding place whenever the soldiers came to her house. Kirk (red beard) threatened her family and hurt her mama. Ever since this incident Valor wanted revenge. Later on, Valor cut her hair and joined the forces so that she could get revenge from the redbeard. She had help from the witch lady and changed her name to Valiant. She met a cook for the soldiers and his name was Randall and she ended up helping him cook a bear that he had killed. I think that Valor liked Randall because she said that she wished he knew she was a girl. She left the soldiers in the middle of the night and let the livestock that they had stole out of their pin. She went to the witch lady's house to sleep for a bit and then she finally made it home. She was ill for a while and she slept a lot. Her Papa finally came home and he was very proud of his little girl.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it identified strong family ties. I have never been much of a history person, but this book helped me understand the lives of the families that experienced the hardships of the Civil War. Mountain Valor is a historical fiction novel that is based on a true story.
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A Kid's Review on October 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mountain Valor is a book about a girl named Valor that wants to go to the Civil War. Her father and her brothers went and left her with her mother, maids, and servants. The South is losing, and they need Valor's help. Savannah is one of Valor's maids, and takes care of Valor because her mother is stressed about her husband and sons being away in the war. Savannah is always telling Valor to stop playing with her friends and behaves like a young lady.
The main character in the story is a young playful girl named Valor. She loves adventure and although everyone is always telling her to be a young lady, she ignores them and keeps doing what she's doing. She is very curious. She can be a pest sometimes but she is still a good person. Valor is competitive especially when a boy tells her she can't do something because she's girl.
The problem for Valor is when a red bearded solider, known as Kirk, threatens that her family will not be safe. Valor becomes very upset and tired of the war. She wants her father and brothers to come home. She wants her mother to dance and laugh again. She wants everything to be like it used to before the war started.
To resolve the problem Valor, dresses up like a boy and goes to war. She needs to be careful if she sees her father or brothers to not tell them that it is her. She is very brave to go to war because when her mother finds out she is busted. If she gets shot, she is history. Thankfully, she is safe and was able to get home.
I liked this book a lot and I hope other people would to. It is full of adventure and bravery. When I was reading it, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to someone else. You will bite your fingernails saying in your mind if everything is going to be okay.
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Format: Hardcover
Valor, a courageous and willing young girl, whose Father and Brother went to war and left Valor and her Mother at home tending the household out in the country, learns to become stronger and wiser in this book "Mountain Valor". While Valor's Father and Brother are away at war Valor is alone at home with her Mother. They go through many problems but somehow seem to realize that if they work together and always love each other they can complete any task! This book has received 4 and a half stars. The main conflict in this book is that Valor and her mother while at home must survive the wait until the ending of the war. Even though this book received 4 and ½ stars I think that it surely should have received 5! This book is recommended for ages nine to thirteen due to it's voilence and "mountain slang". I liked this book because it kept me wanting to read on and on! This book is filled with fun, danger, mystery, and even a little history! I certainly feel that this is one of the best books I have ever read
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