A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This book shows how war affects ordinary people and changes their lives forever. Effectively exploring the complex issues behind the war, Irene Hunt's well-researched historical tale is captivating and memorable.
Positive Role Models
One character defends the necessity of slavery. A brother opposes the wishes of his family and leaves to fight for the South. Some young men clamor for war; townspeople express hatred for Southerners and call for them to be lynched.
Violence & Scariness
Graphic reports of battles. Jethro is attacked, and his family is threatened by mob violence. The family's barn is attacked by an angry band of men. The death of a brother and near death of a friend of the family.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this beautifully written and heart-rending story effectively depicts the suffering caused by war.
Is It Any Good?
Irene Hunt has created an engaging novel that vividly depicts the grand scope of the Civil War, while also showing its intimate impact on the lives of ordinary families. She draws from stories told by her grandfather, family letters, and historical research. In an eloquent but often folksy style, Hunt draws the reader into the farming life of southern Illinois, where young men see a chance to prove their manhood and speak of the war as being fun. Through the four long years of war, Jethro discovers the truth, with the death of one brother and the virtual loss of another when he chooses to fight for the Confederacy.
This is also a novel of a mother sending her children off to war, of a wife raising two children on her own, of a young woman facing the prospect of losing the man she loves. Brilliantly representing the passionate feelings of both sides in the Civil War, Hunt brings the reader to a fuller understanding of this conflict, showing both the futility of war and the breadth of its human consequences.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.