. New York: Morrow Books, 1987.
Charley lives in the Bowery of New York City and longs to avenge his brother’s death. He wants to experience the glory of battle and decides to fight at Bull Run.
This first battle is his last, as he “skedaddles” to the mountains of Virginia. There, he discovers an old woman who needs his help and forces him to truly find his courage.
Bolotin, Norman and Angela Herb.
For Home and Country: A Civil War Scrapbook
New York: Lodestar Books, 1995.
This book contains a variety of visual images from the war. Tracing the war by using primary documents, historical events and political issues are seen through the perspective of many small, everyday details: letters, photographs, songs, diaries, newspaper clippings, and advertisements.
The Tamarack Tree: A Story of the Civil War
. New York: Puffin Books, 1986.
Rosemary Lee moves from England to Vicksburg, Mississippi just before the Civil
War. Her life is full of parties, friends, and fancy clothes. She meets Jeff, a lawyer from the North. As war breaks out, Rosemary must decide whether or not to follow her heart during the dangerous and difficult days that lay ahead.
Undying Glory: The Story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment.
York: Scholastic Books, 1991.
This non-fiction book describes the 54th Regiment, made up of African - American Soldiers, and their efforts during the Civil War. We learn that the soldiers faced discrimination, not only from the Confederate soldiers, but also from the Union soldiers and the Union government. Abraham Lincoln applauds their participation, saying “without the help of this regiment, the war against the South could not have been won.
Growing Up in the Civil War, 1861 - 1865.
Publications Company, 2003.
This book tells the story of the Civil War from a variety of young adolescents’ points of view. Using many primary source documents, the author describes life in the 1860’s on the home front and on the battlefield, from the clothes and foods at home to the horrors of battle.
Daily Life on a Southern Plantation, 1853
. New York: Lodestar Publishers, 1998.
This non-fiction book gives an overview of slavery in the South and then takes the reader through a typical day on a plantation.
. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, A Laura Geringer Book, 1993.
These short chapters describe the Battle of Bull Run from sixteen different points of view. Each person has a different reason for being there. We meet them before, during, and after the battle and learn how the events of war change people forever.
. New York: Laurel-Leaf Books, 1973.
This Newbery Medal winning book (1974) tells the story of Jessie Bollier, who lived by the New Orleans’s docks during the 1840’s. He earned money by playing his fife for the sailors on the docks. One afternoon he is kidnapped by slave runners and is forced to play his fife on The Moonlight, a slave ship. Slaves were required to “dance” to his music so they would be strong and fit when they arrived in America.
Jessie hated everything about this ship and must learn to face his horror with courage and wisdom.
Lincoln: A Photobiography
. New York: Clarion Books, 1987.
This Newbery Award winning biography (1988) describes Lincoln’s life in excellent detail. Numerous photographs and documents give a well-rounded view of our sixteenth president.
. New York: Putnam Books, 1979.
In this biography of Stonewall Jackson, Fritz describes the battle of Manassas and how Jackson, who stood like a stone during the battle, became a great leader.
A History of US: Reconstruction and Reform
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
This history “textbook” describes a variety of important events in our country’s history from 1865 through 1896. Included are Reconstruction efforts, the presidency of Andrew Johnson, amendments to the Constitution, and the Civil Rights Act of
A History of US: War, Terrible War.
New York: Oxford University Press,
Part of a ten-volume set, this history “textbook” describes the events that led to the
Civil War, important people of the time, key battles and incidents during the war, and ending with Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theater in Washington.
The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales
. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.
These twenty-four selections represent the main body of African-American folklore.
They are written in the voice of the storyteller, bringing alive this important contribution to American literature.
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
This is the story of Clara, a slave and a seamstress, who lives on a plantation. She pieces together a quilt that becomes a map for use on the Underground Railroad.
Under the Quilt of Night
. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001.
This is the story of a young slave girl who leads her family to freedom “under the quilt of the night sky” on the Underground Railroad. She and her family are aided by a secret communication, a hand-made quilt with dark, deep blue centers. The girl is nameless, as were so many of the brave slaves who risked their lives running toward freedom.
Across Five Aprils
. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1964.
Jethro Creighton is nine-years-old when this story and the war begin. His small farming community in southern Illinois is quickly overcome by national events. One of his brothers signs up to fight for the Confederacy; his four other brothers sign up to fight for the Union. Jethro is left home to maintain the farm and to do all he can to put his family back together.
. New York: Random House, Landmark Books, 1952,
This fictionalized story recounts the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 and the dedication of the battlefield to “those who here gave their lives that this nation might live” four months later. We are introduced to the people of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and learn about the battle from their point of view.
To Be a Slave
. New York: Scholastic Books, 1968.
This book tells the story of slavery from the auction block to Emancipation. Told in the words of slaves, it is a powerful documentation of the horrors and sadness of their treatment.
If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad.
New York: Scholastic
Books, Inc., 1988.
Told in question and answer format, this book describes what it was like to be a slave trying to escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. The books covers topics such as “How did the Underground Railroad get its name?”, “What would you eat while you were hiding?”, and “What were the special signals and codes on the Underground Railroad?”
The Gettysburg Address
. Boston: The Houghton Mifflin Company,
This book is the text of Lincoln’s famous speech; the text is accompanied by Michael McCurdy’s dramatic illustrations.
The Root Cellar
. New York: Putnam Books, 1985.
This is a time travel book in which Rosa is living with relatives in contemporary
Canada. She discovers a way to slip into the past through the family’s root cellar. There she meets two friends, a brother and a sister. When the brother goes off to fight in the Civil War, Rosa and her friend, Susan, go to Washington, D. C. to find him.
If You Grew Up with Abraham Lincoln
. New York: Scholastic
Books, Inc., 1966, 1992.
Written in question and answer format, this book describes Lincoln’s life as a young boy in Salem and in Springfield, Illinois. Topics covered include “What kind of house would you live in?”, “What were the biggest dangers on the frontier?”, and “What did people do in Springfield for fun?”
Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?
New York: Scholastic Books,
This biography of a slave named Isabella, born in 1797 and freed in 1827, chronicles the life of one of America’s most important women during her years as a preacher, abolitionist, and an activist.
Voices from the Civil War.
New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1989.
Meltzer organizes this book to follow the chronology of the war. Using primary source documents, the reader is able to hear the voices of the era describe what life was like.
If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War
. New York: Scholastic Books, Inc., 1994.
Written in question and answer format, this book describes life in the North and in the South during the Civil War. Topics covered include “Why did the Southern states want to leave the Union?”, “How did you get news from the front lines in the North and in the South?”, and “How did life in the North and in the South change after the war?”
The Boys’ War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk about the Civil War
. New York: Clarion Books, 1990.
This book uses primary documents, letters, diaries, and oral histories to tell the stories of some of the younger soldiers.
Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to White House
. New York: Random House, 1956,1984.
This biography takes the reader through Abraham Lincoln’s early years when he faced hardship and extreme poverty. North tells how Lincoln surmounted those obstacles and rose to the highest office in the land.
O’Brien, Patrick. D
uel of the Ironclads: The Monitor versus The Virginia
. New York: Walker and Company, 2003.
This book recounts the battle of the first iron-clad ships on March 9,1862, the Confederate’s Virginia (the Merrimac) and the Union’s Monitor. It begins by explaining the construction of the ships and concludes with a description of the battle’s impact on the Civil War. John Ericsson, the inventor of the ships, is featured.
. New York: Bantam Books, 1998.
Fifteen-year-old Charley lied about his age to join the Minnesota Volunteers as a combat soldier. He wanted to teach the Confederate soldiers a lesson for breaking away from the Union. Once in battle, Charley finds the realities of war a far cry from the words of the inspirational songs that made him want to join. The text describes the violence of war and Charley’s reaction to it.
The River Between Us
. New York: Dial Books, 2003.
The author uses the flashback technique of writing to tell the story of Tilly Pruitt and her family who live in southern Illinois, along the Mississippi River at the beginning of the Civil War. The
steamboat comes up the river from New Orleans and brings two mysterious guests, who live with the Pruitt family. We meet a variety of characters, all with very different roles in the war, and learn how each has a battle to fight on both a personal and on a political front.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
Silent Thunder, A Civil War Story
. New York: Scholastic Books, 1999.
This story, written in the first person, tells the story of a slave family on the Parnell Plantation in Hobbs Hollow, Virginia in 1862. The “silent thunder” that each of us carries within us can help us or it can hurt us.
Pink and Say
. New York: Philomel Books, 1994.
This picture book tells the true story of two young men who meet in a field in Georgia during the Civil War. Say is injured, left for dead. Pink lives nearby and carries him home. There, Say is nursed back to health by Pink’s mother, Moe Moe Bay. The boys hide in the root cellar when marauders ransack the house. On the way out, the marauders kill Moe Moe Bay as she runs for the woods. The boys are captured by
Confederate soldiers and are taken to a prisoner of war camp. Pink dies, Say is released after the war and returns to his home in Michigan. He is Polacco’s great- great-great grandfather. The book is dedicated to the memory of Pinkus Aylee.
Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky
. New York:Dragonfly Books, 1992.
Cassie and Be Be continue their adventures begun in Tar Beach by learning of their great-great grandparents long journey from slavery to freedom, guided by the voice of Harriet Tubman.
Shades of Gray
. New York: Avon Camelot Books, 1989.
Will Page lived through the Civil War, but his father and brother had been killed by Yankee soldiers. His sister died of illness, his mother of grief. Will is forced to live with his uncle, who refused to fight for the Confederacy and is thought to be a traitor.
Living with his uncle, Will is forced to look at the war from a different perspective and understand the different meanings of courage.
Only Passing Through
. New York: Dragonfly Books, 2000.
This picture book biography chronicles the life of Sojourner Truth, from a young slave in the Hudson Valley through all of her travels to speak of the evils of slavery. The book explains how she got her name and how she served the truth.
. New York: Athenaeum Books for Young Readers, 2001.
It is the summer of 1964 and John Henry and Joe are the best of friends. They do everything together, but their favorite activity is swimming. They are very excited when the Town Council passes a law that makes swimming in the town pool possible for both of them. But, their joy is short-lived when they discover that laws cannotchange people, only people can change people.
Follow the Drinking Gourd
. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Dragonfly Books, 988.
This story tells how a folksong became a map for slaves running toward the North and freedom. One family follows the Drinking Gourd, The Big Dipper, and uses the
lyrics of the song to map their escape route.
Wright, Courtni C.
Journey to Freedom: A Story of the Underground Railroad
. New York: Holiday House, 1994.
This book recounts, in the first person, a family’s journey on the Underground Railroad from a tobacco plantation near Lexington, Kentucky to freedom in Canada. Harriet Tubman guides the family north, overcoming dangers and difficulties.
Wright, Courtni C.
Jumping the Broom
. New York: Holiday House, 1994.
This story describes the joy and traditions of an African-American wedding on a southern plantation.