Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2010 historical fiction feature - the U.S. Civil War

So, I haven't done one of these book lists in a while, so I decided to post one for October, for the American Civil War. Previously I posted lists for Colonial America, the American Revolution, Tudor England, and historical fiction about people of color. I will probably do either the Medieval era or the old west next, not sure yet. Hopefully this list will be helpful to anyone looking for a novel set in this era or that is just looking for some historical fiction to read in general. I will be listing both middle grade and young adult novels for this posting. Also, if you can think of any books you enjoyed on the topic that I didn't list, please leave a comment!

Middle grade novels:

Stella Stands Alone by A. Lafaye: Fourteen-year-old Stella, orphaned just after the Civil War, fights to keep her family’s plantation and fulfill her father’s desire to turn land over to the people who have worked on it for generations, but first she must find her father’s hidden deed and will.

My Side of the Story: The Brothers’ War by Patricia Hermes: Melody and Marshall are cousins whose family is torn apart when Marshall's father enlists in the Confederate Army and Melody's father backs the Union cause. Marshall assists his father by acting as a spy while Melody helps her father. But will family loyalty override the allegiances of war when one of the cousins finds the other in distress?

Saddles, Stars, and Stripes: Chance of a Lifetime by Deborah Kent: Away from home during the battle of Vicksburg, fourteen-year-old Jacquetta returns to find her parents gone and the plantation in Yankee hands, but with help from a slave girl, she devises a plan to rescue the family’s Morgan horses.

All Their Names Were Courage by Sharon Phillips Denslow: In 1862, as William Burd fights in the Civil War, he exchanges letters with his sister, Sallie, who is also writing to Confederate and Union generals asking about their horses in order to write a book.

Hear the Wind Blow by Mary Downing Hahn: With their mother dead and their home burned, a thirteen-year-old boy and his little sister set out across Virginia in search of relatives during the final days of the Civil War.

Before the Creeks Ran Red by Carolyn Reeder: Through the eyes of three different boys, three linked novellas explore the tumultuous times beginning with the secession of South Carolina and leading up to the first major battle of the Civil War.

Anna Sunday by Sally M. Keehn: In 1863 twelve-year-old Anna, disguised as a boy and accompanied by her younger brother Jed, leaves their Pennsylvania home and makes the difficult journey to join their wounded father in Winchester, Virginia, where they find themselves in danger from Confederate troops.

American Diaries: Maddie Retta Lauren by Kathleen Duey: While trying to hide her horse, Maddie meets up with two Yankee soldiers who make her change her mind about who is right and who is wrong in the war between North and South.

American Diaries: Emma Eileen Grove by Kathleen Duey: Twelve-year-old Emma receives unexpected friendship from a Black roustabout and a Union soldier during an explosion on the steamboat Sultana in 1865.

American Diaries: Amelina Carrett by Kathleen Duey: When thirteen-year-old Amelina saves the life of a young Yankee spy found injured near her Louisiana home in 1863, the orphaned girl creates a dangerous situation for herself and her uncle.

History Mysteries: Watcher in the Piney Woods by Elizabeth McDavid Jones: In 1865, while helping her family keep their Virginia farm going through the end of the Civil War, twelve-year-old Cassie meets a Confederate deserter and a Yankee prisoner of war and tries to discover who has been stealing from the farm.

Dear America: A Light in the Storm by Karen Hesse: In 1860 and 1861, while working in her father’s lighthouse on an island off the coast of Delaware, fifteen-year-old Amelia records in her diary how the Civil War is beginning to devastate her divided state.

Dear America: When Will This Cruel War Be Over? by Barry Denenberg: The diary of a fictional fourteen-year-old girl living in Virginia, in which she describes the hardships endured by her family and friends during one year of the Civil War.

My Name is America: The Journal of James Edmond Pease by James Murphy: James Edmond, a sixteen-year-old orphan, keeps a journal of his experiences and those of "G" Company which he joined as a volunteer in the Union Army during the Civil War.

My Name is America: The Journal of Rufus Rowe by Sid Hite: In 1862, sixteen-year-old Rufus Rowe runs away from home and settles in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he documents in his journal the battle he watches unfold there.

My America: Virginia’s Diaries by Patricia Hermes: The diaries of a young girl during the Civil War. The three books are My Brother’s Keeper, After the Rain, and A Time to Dance.

Dear Canada: A Desperate Road to Freedom by Karleen Bradford: Diary of an eleven-year-old slave girl who, along with her family, runs away from their Virginia plantation during the Civil War, and moves to Canada to start a new life.

Dear Ellen Bee by Mary E. Lyons & Muriel M. Branch: A scrapbook kept by a young black girl details her experiences and those of the older white woman, "Miss Bet," who had freed her and her family, sent her north from Richmond to get an education, and then worked to bring an end to slavery. Based on the life of Elizabeth Van Lew.

Joseph: A Rumble of War by Bonnie Pryor: After his stepfather becomes an abolitionist, ten-year-old Joseph struggles with his own thoughts about slavery as he sees its divisive power in his small Kentucky town.

Joseph’s Choice by Bonnie Pryor: In the early days of the Civil War, Joseph must decide whether to defend his stepfather’s abolitionist and pro-Union beliefs or side with the slave owners and Southern rights supporters in his home town of Branson Mills, Kentucky.

Run the Blockade by G. Clifton Wisler: During the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Henry finds adventure working as a ship’s boy and lookout aboard the "Banshee," a new British ship attempting to get past the Yankee blockade of the Southern coast.

Abraham’s Battle by Sara Harrell Banks: In 1863, as the Civil War approaches his home in Gettysburg and he realizes that a big battle is about to begin, a freed slave named Abraham decides to join the ambulance corps of the Union Army.

Silent Thunder by Andrea Davis Pinkney: In 1862 eleven-year-old Summer and her thirteen-year-old brother Rosco take turns describing how life on the quiet Virginia plantation where they are slaves is affected by the Civil War.

Mountain Valor by Gloria Houston: With her father and brothers gone to serve in the Civil War and her mother sick, teenage Valor ignores what is proper behavior for a girl and fights to defend her North Carolina mountain farm.

Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown: Three Southern children, two black and one white, escape from their homes during the horrors of the Civil War and, after meeting in the woods, gradually come to rely on each other as they make their way slowly north, enduring hunger, fear, sickness, and constant danger, before arriving in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

Imperfections by Lynda Durrant: In 1862 Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, fourteen-year-old Rosemary Elizabeth strives to fit in with the Shaker sisters of this "Heaven on Earth," but yearns to be reunited with her mother and siblings from whom she was separated when they sought refuge from her abusive father.

Captain Kate by Carolyn Reeder: Determined to take her father’s coal-carrying barge on the C & O Canal from Cumberland, Maryland, to Georgetown in D.C. during the Civil War, twelve-year-old Kate learns hurtful truths about herself.

Pride of the Green Mountains by Carin Greeberg Baker: With her father away fighting in the Civil War and her mother struggling to keep their Vermont dairy farm despite increasingly hard times, ten-year-old Rosalie tries to come up with a plan that will save their home without selling her beloved Morgan horse, Major.

Three Against the Tide by D. Anne Love: After her father is called away from their plantation near Charleston, S.C., during the Civil War, twelve-year-old Susanna must lead her brothers on a difficult journey in hopes of being reunited with him.

Sally Bradford by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler: A young girl experiences the cruelty, danger, and destruction of the Civil War in Virginia.

Across the Lines by Carolyn Reeder: Edward, the son of a white plantation owner, and his black house servant and friend Simon witness the siege of Petersburg during the Civil War.

Secrets of Civil War Spies by Nancy LeSourd: Letters between two friends, one a student in Richmond, Virginia, and the other a soldier in Washington, D.C., chronicle their experiences during the Civil War, including their work as Union spies and their reliance on God.

Turn Homeward, Hannalee by Patricia Beatty: Twelve-year-old Hannalee Reed, forced to relocate in Indiana along with other Georgia millworkers during the Civil War, leaves her mother with a promise to return home as soon as the war ends. (Sequel: Be Ever Hopeful, Hannalee)

Sound the Jubilee by Sandra Forrester: A slave and her family find refuge on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, during the Civil War. (Sequel: My Home is Over Jordan)

Silent Thunder by Andrea Davis Pinkney: In 1862 eleven-year-old Summer and her thirteen-year-old brother Rosco take turns describing how life on the quiet Virginia plantation where they are slaves is affected by the Civil War.

Young adult novels:

Keeping Secrets by Joan Lowery Nixon: In 1863, eleven-year-old Peg Kelly is drawn into the dangerous activities of a mysterious young woman who takes refuge with the Kelly family in Missouri after fleeing the attack on Lawrence, Kansas, by William Quantrill and his Confederate raiders.

A Dangerous Promise by Joan Lowery Nixon: In 1861, while living with his foster parents at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, twelve-year-old Mike Kelly and his best friend Todd Blakely join the Union army as drummer boys but their dreams of glory end when they experience the full horrors of war at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri.

Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein: When the Civil War breaks out, two cousins, Lizzie and Rosanna, find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict until the war reunites them in the town of Gettysburg.

Annie Between the States by L.M. Elliott: Instead of spending her teen years at parties and balls, Annie, an idealistic, poetry-loving patriot, finds herself nursing soldiers, hiding valuables, and running the household as the Civil War rages around her family’s Virginia home.

Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells: As the Civil War breaks out, India, a young Southern girl, summons her sharp intelligence and the courage she didn’t know she had to survive the war that threatens to destroy her family, her Virginia home, and the only life she has ever known.

Evvy’s Civil War by Miriam Brenaman: In Virginia in 1860, on the verge of the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Evvy chafes at the restrictions that her society places on both women and slaves.

A Voice from the Border by Pamela Smith Hill: Living in the border state of Missouri during the Civil War, fifteen-year-old Reeves tries to understand her father’s decision regarding their slaves.

Behind the Lines by Isabelle Holland: During the New York Draft Riot of 1863, a young Irish Catholic girl helps an African American make a daring escape from an angry mob.

Listen for Rachel by Lou Kassem: Moving up into the mountains of Tennessee introduces Rachel to a possible calling, as she learns about folk medicine from a local healer, until the Civil War divides the family loyalties and brings romance into her life.

The River Between Us by Richard Peck: During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

The War Within by Carol Matas: In 1862, after Union forces expel Hannah’s family from Holly Springs, Mississippi, because they are Jews, Hannah reexamines her views regarding slavery and the war.

Hearts of Stone by Kathleen Ernst: Orphaned when her father dies fighting for the Union and her mother expires from exhaustion, and also estranged from their Confederate neighbors, fifteen-year-old Hannah struggles to find a way for her family to survive during the Civil War in Tennessee.

March Toward the Thunder by Joseph Bruchac: Louis Nollette, a fifteen-year-old Abenaki Indian, joins the Irish Brigade in 1864 to fight for the Union in the Civil War.

Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen: Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan by Jennifer Armstrong: Mairhe, who lives in an Irish slum in Washington, D.C., in the 1860s, struggles to come to grips with the impact of the Civil War on her family.

Southern Angels series by Cheryl Zach
: Hearts Divided, Winds of Betrayal, and A Dream of Freedom.

Books from the Sunfire series: Corey by Jane Claypool Miner and Susannah by Candice F. Ransom

Defiant Dreams by Cheri Michaels: Young adult historical romance set during the Civil War.

Ann Rinaldi has written many historical novels set during the Civil War. Since she has written so many I decided to just list the titles: Leigh Ann's Civil War, My Vicksburg, Juliet's Moon, Sarah's Ground, Girl in Blue, Amelia's War, Come Juneteenth, In My Father's House, The Last Silk Dress, Numbering all the Bones, and The Last Full Measure.


Stephanie (Books Are A Girl's Best Friend) said...

Thank you so much for the list Rebecca, I have never really read any historicals set in the US before but now I have some good ideas for what to start with.

Unknown said...

This is an impressive list. I would love to do some historical fiction but, as I have a full-time job as a college professor, I don't have the time for the research that is essential to it. I do enjoy reading good historical fiction, though.

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