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Age Appropriate For: All ages (some mild violence)
Best for Ages: 10 – 18
Description: 1861 - Sixteen year old Joe Roberts leads a mundane life as far as he’s concerned. His world spins in the same circle each day: working at his family’s store, taking his sisters on boyish escapades and bickering with his rogue of a cousin, Lucas. Joe can’t understand why his mother allows Lucas to live and work with them after all the pain he caused their family. When war is declared, Joe is quick to join up and become a soldier with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers, but war is nothing like he imagined. To make matters worse, he must endure having Lucas in the same regiment. Can Joe put the pain of the past behind him? Forgiveness is easier said than done.
It is always a pleasure to find books my fellow homeschool graduates have written in my favorite genre, historical fiction. It is also a delight to find someone who has such a passion that they do a huge amount of research and make the book feel authentic.
This story is perfect to introduce young readers and students to the Civil War as well as concepts of forgiveness and problems of bitterness. Not only does the style and wording lend itself to younger readers, the story itself is about young people.
The characters were likable and believable. They each have their own struggles and lessons that need to be learned. Joe, the focus of the story, deals with being bitter at his cousin, Lucas, who has been a problem ever since he moved in.
The story isn’t long at all (it is about 160 pages) and moves quickly. In fact, the downside to this book is that it moved a little too quickly toward the end. However, I think that most readers won’t mind.
The lessons to be learned, and the historical backdrop that is painted, are worth the time it takes to read. The lessons will encourage young hearts in their faith, and the historical details will spark their interest in history.
I highly recommend this book to homeschool students, young people, and to history lovers.