Top critical review
Good, with a few issues
Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2021
I read this to my daughters (ages 6 and 8) in preparation for a trip to Gettysburg. It was a good introduction to the Civil War, and it held their interest. I had a couple issues with it. There was a bit of white saviorism going on. The book portrayed the Union soldiers as all being strong abolitionists and fighting for the cause of ending slavery so that children like Thomas and Birdie could be free and go to school with white children. I am no historian, but I'm doubtful that is an accurate portrayal. I did appreciate how the book acknowledged some of the atrocities of slavery in a way that my children were able to understand...families being separated really resonated with them. One final annoyance I had was that these children came from Virginia and had apparently never seen or heard of snow. We live in the middle of VA and have snow every winter...my kids were like, "what, they don't know what snow is?" and it kind of took away the credibility of the story. Thomas and Birdie finally got to experience snow once they had been taken in by a nice white family in Vermont...SMH.