Children's LiteratureWe know about people who have done great things throughout history. But do we know about common ones who have done extraordinary things? The series "In My Own Words" offers four titles about those common people. This one of Susie King Taylor, Civil War nurse, demonstrates the true feelings of the woman since it is her autobiography. She offers a clear picture of her life from that of a slave child to an excellent nurse and a free woman. The reader is kept abreast of history with her basic and logical telling of her life. Her sense of being a proud and strong woman is noted. Chapters are short with subtitles, which help a reader sort through and easily understand the information. A bonus comes in the form of pages of tan parchment paper pointing out extra historical information. The pages are scattered through the text. After reading one there is anticipation for the rest. Some topics covered include the first black regiment in the war, what soldiers ate, Clara Barton's quest, and the wartime smallpox epidemic. This book becomes an asset when placed in classrooms learning about the Civil War or slavery. It instills inspiration from a common person with a worthy life. 2004, Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, Ages 8 to 14.
Nancy Garhan Attebury