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My America: My Brother's Keeper: Virginia's Civil War Diary, Book One Paperback – May 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Series: My America (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439369037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439369039
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Virginia Dickens is angry. Her father and brother Jed have left her behind while they go off to Uncle Jack's farm to help him hide his horses from Confederate raiders. It's the summer of 1863 and Pa and Jed believe 9-year-old Virginia will be out of harm's way in the sleepy little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Too soon they all discover how wrong they are, as Union and Confederate soldiers descend on Gettysburg for the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Virginia has front-row seats to this horrific episode of history, and she records every incident and feeling she experiences in her journal (which is actually Jed's; he entrusted it to her when he went away, asking her to be his "eyes and ears in Gettysburg").

Mary Pope Osborne's gripping story is a welcome addition to the popular My America historical-fiction series. Neither Osborne nor Virginia shy away from telling the truth, brutal and painful though it may be. This lends a certain depth, appeal, and integrity to the book that a history textbook could never match. Real players in the Civil War, including Robert E. Lee and Abe Lincoln, make cameo appearances, while the fictional characters seem just as authentic. Osborne has written a wide variety of other engaging stories, including Adaline Falling Star. (Ages 8 to 11) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Resembling the "Dear America" books (Scholastic), these titles are aimed at a slightly younger audience. In the first book, nine-year-old Elizabeth records her experiences as she, her family, and other colonists adjust to the harsh weather conditions, illness, endless hard work, and nascent social strata in the new land. In the course of three months, Elizabeth meets Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, Gabriel Archer, and George Percy. This is a quick, easy read. Hermes has created a sensitive main character and readers will empathize with her fears and emotions as she adjusts to her new life. In My Brother's Keeper, nine-year-old Virginia Dickens is left in the care of Reverend and Mrs. McCully while her father and brother help her uncle hide his horses from the Confederate raiders. Her journal documents the battle at Gettysburg and the horrors of war. After the battle, she and her father find her brother in a makeshift hospital. The novel ends as the town slowly recovers and Virginia hears President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Osborne successfully creates individual characters, and she poses difficult questions about war and the waste of human life. There is a lyrical quality to several passages, and the author slowly builds suspense and release. However, this book seems more fitting for older, more experienced readers, and the intended audience may have difficulty digesting some of the material. Fans of "Dear America" will enjoy it.
Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

ABOUT MAGIC TREE HOUSE®:
Widely regarded among parents, teachers, and librarians for its power to instill a passion for reading, Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning Magic Tree House series is an international phenomenon and has sold more than 120 million books worldwide since its debut in 1992, and has been translated into 32 different languages in over 30 international markets. There are currently 51 Magic Tree House books and 28 Fact Trackers, the nonfiction companions to the fiction titles. All Magic Tree House books are available in print, as ebooks and Listening Library audio books, which are all narrated by Mary Pope Osborne. Visit www.MagicTreeHouse.com for more information about the series, activities, and more.

The Magic Tree House Classroom Adventures Program is a free, comprehensive set of online educational resources for teachers developed by Mary Pope Osborne as gift to teachers, to thank them for their enthusiastic support of the series. Complete with lesson plans, curriculum guides, and creative activities, the Classroom Adventures Program incorporates every book in the series, including the nonfiction Fact Tracker titles, enabling teachers to build upon students' interest in Jack and Annie's adventures, while simultaneously meeting core curriculum standards across a multitude of subjects. Educators can learn more at http://mthclassroomadventures.org/.

MARY POPE OSBORNE is an ardent advocate and supporter of children's literacy, and the award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and young adults, including novels, retellings of mythology and folklore, picture books, biographies, and mysteries. From 1993-1997, Ms. Osborne served as president of the Authors Guild, the country's leading organization for published authors. She has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, visiting schools and speaking on issues related to children's literacy. She recently spoke at the UN regarding the importance of worldwide literacy and was profiled on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams for her continued efforts. Mary has donated over 250,000 books to children in need through her Gift of Books program. She resides in Connecticut. The creator of the Magic Tree House series, Ms. Osborne is also the coauthor of the companion Magic Tree House Fact Trackers series with her husband, WILL OSBORNE, and her sister, NATALIE POPE BOYCE.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#78 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#77 in Books
#77 in Books

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Virginia Dickens is an ordinary nine-year-old girl growing upin the sleepy farm town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863. She worries about her father and her brother Jed, who have gone to hide the family's horses from the Confederates. Virginia is left behind for her own safety, but she ends up being caught up in the battle and witnesses many horrifying events while growing up. I am older than the level that this book was intended for, but I still enjoyed it. This is a good book for fans of the American Girls series (which I liked when I was younger). It teaches kids about the events of the Civil War through the diary of a young girl readers can relate to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
My America: My Brother's Keeper: Virginia's Civil War Diary, Mary Pope Osborne, 4 stars.
I thought that My Brother's Keeper was a very good book. It was about a girl named Virginia Dickens. She lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the year 1863. Her father and brother, Jed, have gone to Uncle Jack's house to help hide his horses from the Conferate soldiers. She is staying with Reverend McCully and his family while they are away. The whole time she is scared for her brother and father and wants them to come home.

I gave this book four stars because, even though it was a very good book, there were some parts that were very boring/confusing. Sometimes Virginia would be talking about something, then she would start talking about something else and it would be very confusing and hard to follow. Sometimes she just was rambling on and it got boring.

The book, overall, was very good though. It had some very suspenseful parts where I was on the edge of my seat. For example, when Virginia was sitting in the tree while the Confederate soldiers were passing, I wasn't sure whether she would get caught or not and I was anxious to find out.

Some other books I would recommend are: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Picking Up the Pieces, and Nicola and the Viscount. (...)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Virginia Dickens was the daughter of a Union father and Confederate mother. Her mother was a Southern belle from Virginia who named their daughter after her beloved state. The Civil War in American History is perhaps the most important decisive and difficult time in our history. For this nine year old, Virginia's brother Jed and father Pa are Union soldiers. She is torn about the North and South but I think they could have expanded about her mixed loyalties.

This war was about brothers versus brothers and families were indeed torn apart by their loyalties. I think the writer could have expanded Virginia's point of view about the country's points of view. Apart from that, this book is really intended for younger readers which I think they will enjoy reading about that time in American history. Virginia keeps a diary about the civil war and this book does share some interesting facts and details about the history of the Battle of Gettysburg. Yes, it became the turning point battle for the Confederates but it was also very bloody and still the grounds are sacred and hollow and haunted as well.

There is a lot that goes on in Virginia's life that summer like her father and brother being off to war and not hearing from them and life back home in Gettysburg. It's quite an easy, well-done read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Green Marker Girl on May 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Young Virginia, named after the state, shares her emotional journey through the Civil War, missing her dead mother, worriying constantly about her brother and father, and being afraid so often.

Living in Gettysburg isn't exactly safe - especially when one of the most famous Civil War battles is fought right there. Virginia witnesses it all, and writes it all down in the journal her brother gave to her.

But when she finds out what ahs happened to her brother, she must gather up all her courage and face the world as best as she can.
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By angie on October 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
for an older book that is hard to find it was in really good condition! It was a great price as well.
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Format: Paperback
This book was something that I didn't feel attached to the characters as I do the ones I do in the Dear America series.

To me the character Virginia never really changed throughout the story. Maybe that is why the story is more then one part. She seems to try and change but instead just whines through the book.

The way it was written did not seem to connect to me as a reader. Yes the little girl is writing to amuse herself as her brother taught her but it should be a flowing story as well. I just do not feel that it did flow freely as it should.

In the end I just felt it was a generic version of the Dear America series.
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