Caves, Cannons and Crinolinesby Beverly Stowe McClure
Caves, Cannons and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe
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Caves, Cannons and Crinolines is the story of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford and her family's daily struggle to survive a changing way of life during the American Civil War. This is a story of fear, courage, and understanding that people, no matter where they live, have the same needs: love, peace and security.
Caves, Cannons and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure is an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award in the category Young Adult, an Award-Winning Finalist in the Novella category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and also an Award-Winning Finalist in the category of Teen Literature Fiction in the 2011 Global eBook Awards.
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- Twilight Times Books
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Meet the Author
If anyone had told Beverly she'd be a writer one day, she'd have thought they were crazy. When she was a child, she hated to read. Even though her eighth-grade teacher sent her poem "Stars" to a high school anthology, and it was published in Young America Sings, she hated to write. No favorite stories come to mind from her childhood.
In spite of her rocky relationship with books, she attended Midwestern State University and became a teacher. Reading to her students and to her sons introduced her to Dr. Seuss, and she made an amazing discovery: books were fun. She also started to write. To her surprise her stories and articles were published in leading children's magazines. One of her articles was reprinted in a Scott Foresman PreK anthology. Her breakthrough article about her writing journey appeared in the June 2007 issue of the Writer magazine. Caves, Cannons and Crinolines is Beverly's fourth young adult novel. Her other novels for teens are Listen to the Ghost, Secrets I Have Kept, and Rebel in Blue Jeans.
Beverly is a member of the national Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as the North Texas chapter. She lives with her husband, Jack, in the country, where an occasional deer, skunk or armadillo come to visit.
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Reviewed by Kristie I. for Readers Favorite Beverly Stowe McClure has written a treasure for young adults that will enhance their knowledge of the Civil War and transport them back in time. "Caves, Cannons and Crinolines" is written from the perspective of fourteen year-old Lizzie who is growing up during a scary time as the Civil War is taking place around her, tearing apart her family and destroying her home. Lizzie's older brothers are fighting in the Confederate Army and her father is the town father so that he is working long hours caring for the sick townspeople and also injured soldiers. The fighting and having to live in a cave while her world is being completely changed angers Lizzie and she decides to take matters into her own hands. However, this is not as easy as dressing as a boy and going by the name "Eli" and fighting in the army as Lizzie thought would be the answer to the problem. Meeting a wounded Yankee soldier and bringing him home to be cared for makes Lizzie wonder if her thoughts and views are correct. During this unsettling time, Lizzie and her family are living in fear, yet they must keep their pride strong and also continue to be there for each other. This is a well-written historical fiction that brings this time period alive for young readers. There are historical details throughout the story and the descriptions and language will transport the reader to Mississippi and the midst of the Civil War. Although this story takes place years ago, the characters struggle with similar thoughts and feelings as the reader does today, which brings the characters to life and the reader will laugh and cry along with Lizzie and her family. This book is a great read for not only young adults, but older adults as well!
Most of us have read about the American Civil War, Mrs. McClure gives us a chance to live it through the eyes of Lizzy, a 14-year-old girl who is determined to help the South send those darn Yankees back to the North where they belong. Their beloved family home isn't safe anymore, and if the war keeps up any longer, it will be unrecognizable from all the rubble surrounding it. Lizzy hates those cannons. She hates living in a cave even more, but what really gets her ire up is seeing how much those Yankees have turned the lives of her family upside down. She rarely sees her father. He's the town doctor so he's gone for days at a time, caring for wounded soldiers. Apparently, it doesn't matter that his family also needs him. Both of her older brothers snuck off in the middle of the night to enlist. Nobody has heard from them since. Lizzy writes them daily, but she's afraid for them. She's afraid of a lot of things lately. The cannons are getting closer, food is scarce, and her gentle younger brother, Nat, is changing. If this war keeps up, Nat might abandon his dreams of flying machines for a gun! Her mother is too busy to notice. When she's not making bandages for the war effort or helping wayward neighbors, her attention is on Lizzy. The woman is determined, against all odds, to turn her daughter into a proper Southern lady. All Lizzy has to do is look pretty, keep her opinions to herself, and focus all that excess energy on attracting a suitable beau. The Yankees!-Lizzy decides, all of this mess is the Yankees' fault. Donning her brother's clothes, she sets off to enlist. Someone has to end this war. Why not her? Guns, battle, Yankees. none of them are what she expects. The lines between right and wrong are blurred. Friends are foes. Foes are friends. How in the world can a Yankee be a gentleman? Isn't that an oxymoron? I was hooked from the first page. Mrs. McClure weaved an endearing tale. I laughed. I cried, and I learned! I'm so glad I read this book! Thank you Beverly Stowe-McClure for writing it!
Do you know what a crinoline is? Most young ladies today would have no idea. However, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford is a fictional young lady, who lives at Vicksburg, MS, in 1861 during the Siege of Vicksburg by General Grant and his Union forces. Her father is a physician at the local hospital. Her two older brothers, Joseph and Willie, are soldiers in the Confederate Army fighting in Virginia. She, her mother, her younger brother Nathan (Nat) who seems slightly slow-witted, and their two servants are forced to live in a nearby cave while the Union cannons are shelling Vicksburg. Patrick, the young man who had been sweet on her, signed up with Joseph and Willie, but he had already been killed. Lizzie has a rebellious streak, and feeling great anger toward the Union forces due to all the changes they forced in the Stamfords' lives, she puts aside her crinoline, which is a hoop skirt with a petticoat of highly sized, stiff fabric to make it flare, and sneaks out, disguised as a boy dressed in Nat's clothes calling herself Eli, to join General Pemberton's Confederate defenders. However, that does not go too well, especially after Private Arnold, who had become like a mentor to her, is killed right before her eyes, so she decides to return home. On the way, she discovers a Yankee soldier, Private Benjamin Clayton from Ohio, who had been shot in the arm, and, thinking about what she would want people to do if they found either of her brothers injured, she took him home where her father attended to his wounds. The soldier leaves a few days later in the confusion when the Stamfords receive a letter about Willie. Will it be good news or bad news? And will Lizzie ever see or even hear from Ben again? Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre of young people's literature, and Beverly Stowe McClure, author of Rebel in Blue Jeans, does a great job of presenting the Civil War for teenagers from both Southern and Northern viewpoints. There is no bad language or, for that matter, much to which anyone would object, aside from a couple of minor references to drinking alcohol. All the characters are portrayed quite naturally, and the action is carried forth in a way that will keep the reader turning the pages. One can really get a feel for how the war affected the lives of the people who experienced it. Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines would make good historical fiction supplementary reading in connection with any study of the Civil War, especially the capture of Vicksburg.
Caves, Cannons and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure is the heart-warming story of a fourteen year old Lizzie and her family in Vicksburg during the American Civil War. As soon as I started reading this book, I knew I was in good hands. Well written and exciting, it has just the right amount of action to keep things interesting, and just the right amount of emotion to let me share in Lizzie’s fears, sorrows, and joys. Even though I learned a lot about the Civil War, the book wasn’t dry or heavy. The characters and the descriptions felt very real and I was left thinking about them for a long time after I finished. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes meaningful stories with strong characters and action. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Beverly Stowe McClure has crafted an accurate and exciting historical novel for young adults in Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines. She describes the Siege of Vicksburg through the eyes of a young Southern girl, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Stamford. Lizzie and her family, consisting of her mother, younger brother, Nat and their two servants have to live in a cave during the siege in an effort to keep safe from the Yankee bombardment. Her father is a doctor who cares for the wounded at the local hospital and is not home very often. Ms. McClure gives a faithful account of the townspeople's plight during the siege - cave dwelling, lack of food and horrors of war. Wanting to do something to help with the cause, Lizzie disguises herself as a boy in a misguided attempt at joining the Confederate troops. She soon learns that this is not the way to help, but meets a Yankee soldier who has been wounded. Her natural caring and the thought of her brothers make her take him to her house to nurse his wounds. She realizes that friendship comes through caring, not necessarily where you live or who you are. Read about Lizzie's experience and a small part of our history. Lizzie's spunky attitude shows throughout the story and does not waiver for long as she accepts what is happening and looks forward to the future when the war is over and all is returned to normal. Beverly Stowe McClure lives in Texas with her husband, Jack. She is a mother to three sons, grandmother to four granddaughters and two grandsons and great grandmother to one great grandson. Her official bio says she married very young. Beverly is a member of both the North Texas and the national Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and a finalist in the Dan Poynter eBook Global Awards for Teen Literature - Fiction.
Life is turned upside-down for 14-year-old Elizabeth Stamford when her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi is under siege during the Civil War. Forced to vacate her home and live in a cave with her family, Lizzie ends up learning firsthand about war: its horrors and unfairness. Through an unexpected alliance, Lizzie learns that what side you are on isn't as important as what's in your heart. Ms. McClure did a lovely job bringing Lizzie to life. I enjoyed the young heroine's spunk, impulsiveness and wry humor. Lizzie's close friendship with her younger brother, Nathan, made for interesting scenes - tender one moment, typical sibling bickering the next, but with a fierce loyalty to one another. I recommend Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines for young adult readers, especially those interested in history. The book would make a nice addition to the American history curriculum for teachers or homeschoolers.