Monday, November 1, 2010

The Last Full Measure by Ann Rinaldi

The Civil War comes to Gettysburg...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is publishing this book this month in hardcover.  They provided me with an ebook for review (thank you).

Tacy, her mother, and her brother David, who has a bad leg, are at home in Gettysburg.  Her father and two other brothers have enlisted and are fighting the war.  Tacy loves her brother, but he's very moody and angry because he cannot help the way because of his disability.

I've toured Gettysburg and this story took me back there.  I could see all the hills, hear the cannons and shots, and I felt the ghosts of the past while there.  This book brought it all back to me.

Ms. Rinaldi does a very good job of discussing the events of the battles, the fact that the soldiers were the same on both sides - just fighting for different causes, and brings up two unusual facts about the war.

She incorporates a real person into her fictional account.  One woman was killed in the battle by either a sniper or a random shot.  They discuss that during the bus tour of Gettysburg, it's a fact.  This person is part of Ms. Rinaldi's story.

She also dug up the fact that there were freed slaves in Gettysburg.  These slaves play an important part in this story.  And Tacy finds herself conflicted because they're her friends, but they are also why her neighbors and family members are fighting.

This story is written for ages 12 and up, but I found it very interesting read.  It makes history come alive and may lead your child to do more reading on the subject matter.  There is a bibliography in the rear of the book with suggestions for further reading.

It will be in your local bookstores this month.  It's enough of a mix between facts and fiction most young adults will enjoy reading it.  Check it out.

And happy reading!

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