The Civil War

Book review by
Wesley Sharpe, Common Sense Media
The Civil War Book Poster Image
Brings Civil War to life; some gruesome photos.

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age 8+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Photographs of dead soldiers and realistic drawings of face-to-face combat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that black-and-white photographs and color drawings bring to life the tragic events of the Civil War. There are some gruesome photos.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byKeeganthecoolman November 10, 2020

What's the story?

More than 100 photographs and illustrations from the Library of Congress bring to life to the story of the War Between the States. Civil War is a well-researched record of the camp life, the battles, and the heroic deeds of men in the Union and Confederate armies.


Is it any good?

Martin Sandler's narrative and the Library of Congress' collection of records make CIVIL WAR an outstanding book. Photographers and artists recorded the true face of the war, and from their pictures children learn about the boredom of daily camp life and the horror of battle. Graphic scenes show a kind of warfare much different from that depicted in films and on television news today.

Children will be fascinated by a startling fact: Hundreds of thousands of Civil War soldiers and sailors were under 15 years of age. Many served as drummer boys, but sometimes they dropped their instruments to fire the guns of fallen soldiers. Children will browse this or use it as a resource, and it can be read aloud to kids who lack the reading skill or maturity to read it on their own. Even for older children, the book will bring up hard questions that require an adult's assistance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the nature of this war. How was it different from modern warfare? Is it similar in any ways?

Book details

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