by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by David Frampton. (HarperTrophy,1993 ISBN 0-06-440588-5. Hardcover. Paperback. Library Binding.) Novel. 104 pages. Grades 4+.
This book was first reviewed by Carol Otis Hurst in Teaching K-8 Magazine.
We are with sixteen different people as they head for the battle at Bull Run, the first major battle of the Civil War. Fleischman lets their many voices speak individually as they tell variously of their excitement, loathing, fear and hope about this battle which several of them are convinced will be the only one in the Civil War. For some of them, it is. They each get a short chapter in no particular order and are later given others, some more than others. The effect is of the humanity and horror of war. It's a powerful statement. In an appendix, Fleischman lists the pages on which each of the voices can be heard, making this an ideal choice for reader's theater. The accessibility of the reading make it a good choice for less skilled readers but the depth of it and the message in it should challenge anyone's thinking.
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