From School Library Journal
YA-These firsthand narratives include young people's diaries, journals, letters, and published reminiscences, as well as accounts by families who recorded their impressions of their youngsters' ordeals. The result is "their descriptions of the hardships they endured and how they managed to cope with them," with parallels to the experiences of children in contemporary civil strife. The author focuses chronologically on the war's outbreak, the first big battles, the emancipated slave children, the effects of the spreading war, the tide-turning Battle of Gettysburg, the siege of Vicksburg, the horror of the Andersonville prison, the siege and burning of Atlanta, and the closing days of the war. Narratives include descriptions of the occasional camaraderie during lulls in the fighting when Union and Confederate soldiers danced and sang together. What emerges throughout the book is the "legacy of courage and determination that is not celebrated in speeches given at monuments honoring the dead.... These are children speaking without rhetoric or resentment about human resilience and the capacity for compassion and decency that survives even when the world is awash in armed conflicts and hates."-Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Werner (developmental psychology, Univ. of California at Davis; Pioneer Children on the Journey West, Westview, 1996) looks here at the Civil War through the eyes of children who were willing participants, such as drummer boys and boy soldiers, as well as those in whose communities momentous battles of that conflict were fought. Werner also deals with the experiences of the slaves who became free, including some who went on to join the Union Army. The children in this book speak from both Northern and Southern experience and points of view. There are eyewitness accounts of such battles as the Wilderness and Gettysburg and the siege of Vicksburg. The young witnesses speak with amazing maturity and insight. Recommended for all public libraries.?Joseph Toschik, Half Moon Bay P.L., CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.