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You Wouldn't Want to Be a Civil War Soldier!: A War You'd Rather Not Fight Paperback – March 1, 2004
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About the Author
David Salariya was born in Dundee, Scotland. He has illustrated a wide range of books and has created and designed many new series for publishers both in the U.K. and U.S.A. In 1989 he established The Salariya Book Company. He lives in Brighton with his wife, the illustrator Shirley Willis, and their son, Jonathan. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The bad: It's flawed in a number of places...
The cover - Are those modern rifle *cartridges* flying through the air, not the bullets? I suspect the artist, David Antram, has never fired a real gun or he'd know better! The minie ball is an important part of Civil War knowledge - why not depict it?
Page 5: A Confederate naval ensign (the rectangular flag) is shown crossed with the Union flag. More accurate to show a Confederate battle flag, which was square.
Page 7: The protagonist is shown wearing Ambrose Burnside "wraparound" sideburns and mustache. This is very atypical facial hair in the Civil War. Better to show a full beard - or, since the reader is likely to be a child - no facial hair.
Page 12 and page 21: Black men are shown in white Union army regiments. In fact, they were segregated. This, I suspect, is a nod towards political correctness.
Page 17: The Battle of Antietam is depicted in mud or brown dirt with fortifications. In fact, the battle was fought on farmland - no fortifications.
Page 19: The Gettysburg hand-to-hand combat was fought in the woods, not on a dirt field as depicted.
Page 20: I wear wool uniforms when I reenact the Civil War. They are not itchy.
Page 20: Robert E. Lee is shown with dark hair. In fact, it was white.
By the way... on pages 22 and 23 there is lots of blood shown in a hospital scene. In fact, in the library copy I used, somebody (parent? librarian?) taped the pages shut. Naturally, I untaped them.Read more ›
This book only mentions a few details of daily life. Instead, it is a list of battles with their dates and a few details. That makes it boring and irrelevant to the target audience.
Save your money for something really good, such as You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Wild West Town! (You Wouldn't Want to...) or You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Pioneer! (You Wouldn't Want to...)
"You Wouldn't Want to Be a Civil War Soldier..." is entertaining and it contains solid, accurate history presented in a visually interesting format.
While I've been looking a few of these over for my own personal entertainment, my almost 4th grade daughter has been sneaking them out of the stack and reading them without any encouragement from me. Imagine! Kids surreptitiously reading history!
The only complaint I have about the back is the total lack of African American faces in the drawings. The book notes that 179,000 African American soldiers served in the war, which is good but fails to include a single African American in the drawings. While it mostly makes sense due to the strict segregation of the army (the book follows one soldier from Connecticut who joins before the First Battle of Bull Run and stays until Appomattox), if I had been the editor I would have insisted on including African Americans on pages 26 & 27, the pages that talk about the siege of Petersburg and the Battle of the Crater. African Americans made up the bulk of the Union troops in the first wave of the Battle of the Crater and it would have been a great place to include some different faces in the art.
THIS BOOK: This particular volume is taken from the perspective of a Union soldier. It is rather obvious from the cover that the soldier is on the Union side, but I think I would have preferred the title to delineate that a little more. Or, better yet, I think it might have been neat to devote half the book to each side for the balance of perspectives. However, within the book there is some description of both sides and of some of the similarities and differences. And, all in all, I liked the perspective of it, incorporating side-specific information. All in all, I found this perfect for what it is: a picture book with basic information on what it meant to be a Union soldier in the US Civil War.
SERIES: This series covers such a wide range of history that we can easily find 10 books per year that fit into what we're learning. Each book gives a glimpse or overview of the topic covered. They are not written in story form, but in interesting fact form, so frequently they throw in tidbits that you don't typically find in a normal history book. They are also appropriate for just about every age. My youngest is captivated even at four, my girls at 8 and 10 devour them over and over again, and my husband and I can't wait to read each new book. So far we have not found one that we dislike.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My 5th grade students love reading this book. At the beginning of the school year, I used it to supplement a unit on the Civil War. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cara Niehoff
Fantastic for my 5th grade social studies class! The kids love it!Published 7 months ago by Jennifer Golden
A fun read for the students to learn about the "fun" facts of this point in history.Published 11 months ago by Cathryn Montalto
I used this book as a resource for my 5th grade history unit. Easy-to-read and packed with more information than our actual history book! Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by E. Smith
This series of books are well designed. The heavy use of pictures with short descriptions are perfect for keeping a child's interest. Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Kindle Customer
For the unaware - "Hardtack and Coffee" was a United States history book written by a U.S. Army veteran. Read morePublished on August 3, 2010 by The Seeker