Dear America: Cannons at Dawn by Kristiana Gregory (Published by Scholastic, May 1, 2011)
In this sequel to The Winter of Red Snow, Abigail Jane Stewart continues her diary in January 1779. Her father has recently joined the army and she is worried about him. Then her family's home burns down, and they have trouble finding a place to stay because most of their relatives moved away during the British occupation of Philadelphia. While her older sister remains in Philadelphia, Abby, her younger brother and sister, and their mother join the Continental Army as camp followers.
Life following the army is full of many hardships for Abby and her family. The winters are long and brutally cold and there is rarely enough food. There is also the worry that the Americans will lose the war, as the British have occupied many cities in the southern colonies, the Continental Army does not have enough supplies, and the promised aid and troops from France have not yet arrived. But there is also happiness, too. Abby and her family make several new friends, and there is also romance, as Abby finds herself falling in love with Willie Campbell, a young soldier.
The Winter of Red Snow was one of my favorite books from the original Dear America series, so when I learned there would be a sequel after all these years I was so excited. And I am happy to say I was not disappointed at all. The American Revolution is one of my favorite settings for historical fiction, so I really enjoyed reading Abby's diary, which brought to life the hardships faced by the American soldiers and their families during the final two years of the war. This book is now one of my favorites from the series and I would highly recommend it to all readers who enjoyed other books in the Dear America series. And if you haven't read any books from the series yet but love historical fiction, these two books are a great place to start.