Sunday, April 12, 2009

Book review: Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein

Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein (published by Bloomsbury, October 14, 2008)

Fifteen-year-old Lizzie Allbauer lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1861, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. When her sixteen-year-old cousin Rosanna McGreevey comes to visit from Virginia, Lizzie thinks the girls couldn't be more different. Lizzie is shy and doesn't feel she is pretty, while Rosanna is beautiful, outgoing, and flirtatious. However, the two girls develop a friendship. When war breaks out, Lizzie's father and brother enlist in the Union Army, and Rosanna returns to her home in Richmond, Virginia.

From that point on, their lives diverge sharply. Lizzie helps support the Union cause that her father and brother are fighting for, and helps run the family business while the men are at war. Meanwhile, Rosanna marries a handsome young Confederate soldier and follows him to war, nursing the wounded soldiers. Eventually the girls reunite and witness the Battle of Gettysburg.

Two Girls of Gettysburg is a wonderful historical novel that does a good job at showing both sides of the Civil War and how the conflict destroyed lives and tore families apart. The novel is told through the alternating voices of the two girls. Lizzie's chapters are told from a standard first-person point of view, while Rosanna's are told through diary entries, similar to a Dear America book. As a result Lizzie's story was more detailed and her character was a bit more developed than Rosanna`s as a result. I highly recommend this novel to teens with an interest in history, as well as older readers who still love young adult historical fiction.

1 comment:

Lenore Appelhans said...

This would be perfect for my friend's daughter - thanks!

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