Thursday, May 24, 2012

Laurie Calkhoven: Will at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863

Laurie Calkhoven writes for the young reader.  Chapter books that are full of accurate historical detail and that capture the attention and imagination of the young reader.  Her story telling is an experience will guide the young reader into a better understanding of the historical event.
My 8-year-old granddaughter's review of the books: 
I read three books by Laurie Calkhoven.  They were all about different wars.  In Will at the Battle of Gettysburg I really liked how he showed lots of courage.  This book was about the Civil War. The other two books were about the American Revolution and World War II.  Daniel in the book about the American Revolution was brave and risked his own life for our country.  In the book about World War II I learned that it was a scary time.

I don't know which book is my favorite.  I like all of them!  If other kids like me like intense books they will really like these.  I want to read more books by this author!  When it was quiet and I was all alone reading these books, I felt like I was there! 
My Thoughts:  There is war in the land and it is affecting every citizen - those the age to fight, those too old to fight, and those too young to fight.  Our main character is a 12-year-old boy, Will.  He wants so much to do his part as a drummer boy in the war serving for the Union.  His older brother is languishing in a Southern hospital as a prisoner and his father is off rendering medical care for the wounded that he as a doctor is so very much in need of providing.

Will sees the rebel troops as they approach his town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and then enter shooting and yelling the rebel yell.  He later sees the Union troops as they defend Gettysburg against the rebels.  He sees death.  War is getting a face and that face is personal, real, and sordid. 

He now knows the enemy.  However, in this he meets another young drummer boy who is a rebel.  Will takes him into his home and feeds and clothes the bedraggled boy.  Later, his good deed comes back to save him.

This is Laurie Calkhoven's second book in the Boys of Wartime series. Her account, though written for the young reader age 9-12, draws on firsthand accounts of one of the most famous and bloodiest Civil War battles and provides a good read with good, accurate history lessons.  She presents not only the struggle politically between the North and South over slavery, but also over the larger issue of States' Rights.

Calkhoven also provides material of benefit to students of history of any age:  a glossary, additional reading titles. a detailed "Time Line" of dates and facts, and a list of real historical characters in the book and what their role in history was.

Book 2: Will at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863 (Civil War)
Book 3: Michael at the Invasion of France 1943 (World War II)
DISCLOSURE:  I was provided a copy of Will at the Battle of Gettysburg 1863  by the author, Laurie Calkhoven in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to render a positive review.

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