Numbering All the Bones

( 16 )

Overview

The Civil War is at an end, but for thirteen-year-old Eulinda, it is no time to rejoice. Her younger brother Zeke was sold away, her older brother Neddy joined the Northern war effort, and her master will not acknowledge that Eulinda is his daughter.
Her mettle is additionally tested when she realizes her brother Neddy might be buried in the now-closed Andersonville Prison where soldiers were kept in torturous conditions. With the help of Clara Barton, the eventual founder of ...

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Overview

The Civil War is at an end, but for thirteen-year-old Eulinda, it is no time to rejoice. Her younger brother Zeke was sold away, her older brother Neddy joined the Northern war effort, and her master will not acknowledge that Eulinda is his daughter.
Her mettle is additionally tested when she realizes her brother Neddy might be buried in the now-closed Andersonville Prison where soldiers were kept in torturous conditions. With the help of Clara Barton, the eventual founder of the Red Cross, Eulinda must find a way to let go of the skeletons from her past.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
This unique novel set in Andersonville, Georgia, at the end of the Civil War is based on true events. The life of thirteen-year-old slave girl Eulinda is intertwined with the horror of the prison camp in which 13,000 Union soldiers died in 1864 and 1865. Daughter of a plantation owner and a slave, Eulinda has always been considered part of her father's family, although he has never granted her freedom. Educated and living in his home, she is torn and confused about her place in society. The slaves do not trust her, and the relationship with her father and his harsh wife is tenuous. One of her brothers has been sold, and the other has joined the Union war effort. Challenged to decide her fate, she participates in some dangerous acts before leaving the comfort and protection of the plantation to assist Clara Barton and federal officials with the identification, burial, and family notification of the prison camp dead. Characterization is one-dimensional and somewhat stereotypical, although Eulinda is a likeable narrator. Her realistically portrayed voice, personal sacrifice, courage, and uncertainty will appeal to teens. Some readers might feel that her fate is too easily resolved. Themes of justice, prejudice, and freedom are evident but do not overwhelm the narrative. The gruesome details of Andersonville have been well researched and will enrich the reader's knowledge of a largely undocumented facet of the Civil War. In addition to appealing to Rinaldi's loyal base of readers and Civil War buffs, the novel would be a fine choice for historical or multicultural assignments. Pair it with Red Cap by G. Clifton Wilser (Lodestar, 1991/VOYA October 1991). VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M (Readable withoutserious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2002, Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 170p,
— Eileen Kuhl
Children's Literature
Thirteen-year-old Eulinda is "neither this nor that." Some days she's a family member, other days a servant. Set on a Georgia plantation in 1864, this story of a half-white, half-black slave girl focuses on the psychological confusion and abuse suffered by the mixed-race daughter of a white master. Pulled in two directions, Eulinda belongs in neither. She's told, "nuthin' better than freedom," but that only seems to mean, "starving and dying." Should Eulinda escape when given the chance, stay behind and try to find her brother, or cling to the hope that her white father will acknowledge her? Not only does her dilemma depict an infrequently narrated facet of plantation life, it also reveals some lesser-known aspects of U.S. history. Eulinda's choices lead her to a surprising relationship with Clara Barton, the eventual founder of the American Red Cross, and to nearby Andersonville Prison, where the deaths of 13,000 ill-treated prisoners invite comparisons to World War II concentration camps. Boosted by Eulinda's spirited voice and a stirring sense of place, this novel will provide deeper insight into life during the Civil War and Reconstruction era, and treat readers to a character and story they'll care about and remember. 2002, Jump at the Sun/Hyperion,
— Betty Hicks
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-In the last year of the Civil War, Eulinda, 13, the daughter of a slave and a slave owner, waits for news of her older brother, who ran away to join the Union Army. Neddy carries with him the ruby ring that he stole after their younger brother, Zeke, was framed for the theft, and punished by being sold away. When Eulinda discovers the Andersonville Prison, where Yankee soldiers die daily from starvation and disease, she knows her brother is somewhere inside the walls. After the war ends, she meets up with Clara Barton, and her destiny becomes entwined with giving the soldiers proper burials and ultimately finding the stolen ring. The author's note and bibliographical references provide evidence of sound research to portray the circumstances surrounding the prison where 13,000 Union soldiers died. While the setting is compelling, the characters themselves never quite draw readers into the emotional elements of the story. With the exception of Eulinda, who was educated in secret, the black characters speak in heavy dialects reminiscent of Gone with the Wind. Also, confusion regarding factual accuracy occurs when Eulinda relates how her mother deliberately infected the slave-owner's cruel wife with cholera by slobbering all over her, an unlikely way for the disease to be transmitted. However, the story may interest readers who want to find out more about the prison that was considered by many to be a death camp on American soil.-Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Bellevue Regional Library, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lovely story, rendered in spare prose by a major writer of historical fiction, Rinaldi's (Girl in Blue, 2001, etc.) tale takes place in Georgia in 1864. Written in first-person flashback as a plainly told narrative set down at the request of Clara Barton, the main character tells us, it describes 13-year-old Eulinda Kellogg's attempts to make herself "come true." Eulinda, a house slave at a plantation close to the infamous Andersonville prison camp for Union soldiers, is the daughter of the plantation's owner. Though this fact is known to all, including the master's mean-spirited second wife, the owner has never legally acknowledged Eulinda. Her older brother has run away to join the Union forces-and may, in fact, be imprisoned at Andersonville-and a beloved younger one has been sold. A chance meeting with a man who offers her a role in helping to set the horrors of Andersonville to rights-that is, to bury the Union dead honorably and to turn it into a monument-provides Eulinda with the chance to do something important and meaningful with her life. There is much hard work to be done in this effort, and Eulinda encourages other freed blacks to help her clean and rebuild the place; in addition, as an educated young woman, she paints epitaphs so that all the fallen may be properly memorialized. In the process, she comes to meet and become secretary to Clara Barton, renowned in real life by this time as a champion of the rights of freed slaves and of the effort to pay tribute to the soldiers treated horribly at Andersonville. Eulinda is a beautifully realized character. She speaks plainly but always from the heart, and readers will be swept along by the drama and the history. The authorprovides a fascinating afterword in which she sets the facts and the many real-life characters in the novel in context and includes a bibliography featuring titles about Barton, Andersonville, and the Civil War. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786813780
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/10/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 163,973
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    Hey, I'm from 'Faulk Elementary'. We have an reading fair, and i

    Hey, I'm from 'Faulk Elementary'. We have an reading fair, and i picked numbering all the bones. i read the whole book. and i felt very emotional while reading it.. but i also made it through the whole book! i am so glad i am doing an fair project on this book. and i am black so they gives me things what hey did back then to the slaves.. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2011

    Recommend!

    I am in middle school and i am a very picky reader, at first i found the book a little boring but once you start reading you don't want to put it down, this book is full of emotion, and i recommend it deeply, Sincerely,Jessica <3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2008

    Good- HIGHLY recommended!!!

    My school ' Corbett Middle School' gave us a choice of books to read and I choose Numbering All The Bones, This book is very good and the historical people the author puts in the book really brings the book to life. Clara Barton was a very great charter as well as all the others, she was one that I really wanted to learn more about... :' I HIGHLY suggest this book to everyone!!! :D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2007

    HEAVY READING

    this book i read with my class. It is very heavy reading with a lot of emotion. All the horrible things they did to the slaves. I reccomend this book to people who like to read historical fiction. Very well put together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2006

    Numbering All The Compliments

    This book is awsome. It shows the hardships of blacks and how blacks went through an everlasting struggle.This is not only about a girl living her life,but this is showing America that no matter how much we want to push away the fact that racism is still alive we can't. If America has not noticed that yet then they obviously have alot to learn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    Numbering All The Bones

    Do you think you know everything about slavery? This book is about a young black girl who is a slave her name is Eulinda. She is the daughter of the master of the plantation. It is a Historical Fiction. The setting of this book is 1864 Pond Bluff, Georgia on a plantation. The main characters are Mr. Hampton and Eulinda. The strong point about the book is the way the author writes the story. The weak points about the story are the characters and the plot of the story. The author is trying to get across that slavery was a big deal in our country and that slavery was wrong. I wouldn¿t recommend this book to anyone because the plot was boring and stories plots are supposed to be exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    Numbering the Bones

    The Title of this book is Numbering the Bones. This book is a Historical fiction. It is by Ann Rinaldi. The audience that might be especially interested would be people that enjoy reading books by Ann Rinaldi. Would you ever want to be in a slaves place? Would you want to find out how a slaves life was once like? This story is mainly about a girl named Eulinda and she is a slave, who goes to many people to work for. Other books that is like This one would be a true story of Harriet Tubman. The main characters are Neddy Eulinda, mom. The setting of this book is a house, outside. The theme of this book would be slaves. My opinion of this part in this book would be that how she couldn¿t stay with just one person. The strong points of this book would be how she sometimes stands up for herself. I would not tell anybody about this book because I didn¿t like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    Numbering All the Bones

    This book is interesting but boring. Numbering All the Bones is about a young slave girl with a white father.This book is a historical fiction book.It is about a slave girl named Eulinda, her white father named Mr. Hampton (who was her master) and Mistis Mr. Hampton¿s wife. The setting of the book is Mr. Hampton¿s house during the 1860¿s. Eulinda is trying to find her inner self. This book is pretty much like any other slave story. This is just not a good book unless you are interested in slavery. This book was just boring. I do not recommend this book. But I would recommend that you look for another one of the author¿s book because she has a good writing style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    Do you like historical fiction?

    Are you a fan of historical fiction? If you aren¿t you might just change your mind when you read Ann Rinaldi¿s Numbering All the Bones. This historical fiction tells about a girl named Eulinda that is neither white nor African American and how she makes it from during the Civil War to after the Civil War. If you have never read any of Ann Rinaldi¿s work you might be able to relate to this story through Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling. In Freedom train like in Numbering All the Bones the theme is slavery and African American freedom. The main characters in this story are Eulinda who is neither white nor African American, Eulinda¿s white father Mr. Hampton, Mistis who is Mr. Hampton¿s cruel wife, and lastly Miss Barton who shows Eulinda kindness after the Civil War. If you enjoy an adventurous historical fiction book I recommend Numbering all the Bones to you. But if you don¿t enjoy historical fiction but you enjoy an adventure I also recommend this book to you. When you start to read this book it may not seem interesting at all but read a few chapters and you won¿t be able to set the book done. The rest is for you to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    My Review for 'Numbering All the Bones'

    Have you ever wished that you lived back in the Civil War times? If you said ¿yes¿, then you should read Numbering All the Bones, a historical fiction novel by Ann Rinaldi! This book is about Eulinda, a slave girl, and Mistis, her owner, living on Pond Bluff Plantation, outside of Atlanta, Georgia, in the mid-1860s. Around the end of the book, right after Mr. Lincoln has signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Eulinda goes to work as Miss Clara Barton¿s secretary at nearby Adersonville Prison. That is the strong point of the book. By the time I got to that part, I couldn¿t stop reading. One of the weaker points is at the beginning. The author tried to intrigue us readers by putting a cliff-hanger, ahead-of-its-time beginning, and then went back to the REAL beginning, with Eulinda¿s first mistress, Miz Gertrude. It sort of intrigued me in a way, but I think there might have been a better way to start. Also, I did not like the final chapter ¿What is True in the Book and What is Not¿. The main idea of Numbering All the Bones is to show that readers the cruelties of slavery- and not JUST to blacks, but also to mixed-races, such as Eulinda. This book is like the Addy series by American Girl. This is because both Eulinda and Addy were treated cruelly by there former masters and mistresses. I might recommend this book to my friends, only because it is so cool for us to read the same books so we can talk about them. I also recommend this book to girls that are in upper-elementary and middle school that are interested in history, but learn best through fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2002

    A different perspective showing the Civil War dilemmas of a slave of mixed race

    Eulinda is a slave who is caught between the white and black world on a southern plantation during the Civil War. The story takes the reader into Eulinda's world, her coming of age and her reconciliation with her duo consciousness (white and black). This is a well written book with a very unique perspective. I would highly recommend that teachers use this book to showcase life on a southern plantation during the Civil War.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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