Parents' Guide to

The Civil War

By Wesley Sharpe, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Brings Civil War to life; some gruesome photos.

The Civil War Poster Image

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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.

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