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Ghosts of the Civil War Hardcover – January 1, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-4-Young Lindsey, bored and cranky as she visits a Civil War reenactment with her parents, is transported back in time when she meets the ghost of Willie Lincoln. Starting with the arrival of the first slaves in 1619, Willie explains the origins of the war and its history. Using highly detailed, captioned paintings, sidebars, and annotated maps, Harness imparts a great deal of information on each spread. In fact, there is no white space in the entire book. The excellent-quality artwork and hand-lettered captions were created using watercolor, ink, and colored pencil. The major battles and campaigns of the war are described, as are political events such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. The story concludes with the assassination of President Lincoln, who, reunited with his beloved Willie, sends Lindsey back to her waiting parents. The final pages of the book include biographical sketches of the major figures, a large map summarizing the battles and troop movements, pictures of the various flags, and a list of wartime firsts. This book, while chock-full of information, is nearly impossible to read aloud to a group and may miss its target audience. Younger readers, attracted by the pictures, will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information. Older children who would benefit from the detailed presentation may be wary of the easy format and the contrived fictional framework. Still, this is a good choice for elementary students with strong reading skills who are studying the period, visiting a reenactment or battlefield, or interested in the War Between the States.

Rita Hunt Smith, Hershey Public Library, PA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5. Similar in format to Harness's Ghosts of the Twentieth Century (2000), this story opens with a girl and her parents attending a Civil War battle reenactment. Striking up a conversation with a boy dressed in nineteenth-century garb, the girl discovers that he's the ghost of Willie Lincoln. Together they travel through time and view events taking place before, during, and after the Civil War, from the Lincoln-Douglas debates to the assassination of President Lincoln. The pages are packed with information hand-lettered in the vertical borders of each spread. The paintings are full of period details, mini-dramas involving ordinary people as well as famous figures in the war, and speech balloons carrying the children's conversations and comments from other people in the crowded scenes. Appendixes include cameo portraits and brief biographies of significant people, a map showing campaigns and battlefields, information on flags and famous firsts of the war, a glossary, and two brief bibliographies. An imaginative and strongly visual introduction to the Civil War. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Grade Level : 4 - 6
  • Item Weight : 1.17 pounds
  • Hardcover : 48 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0689831358
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0689831355
  • Product Dimensions : 10.16 x 0.45 x 10.28 inches
  • Reading level : 8 - 10 years
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; First Edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.7 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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