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Two Girls of Gettysburg

Two Girls of Gettysburg

4.4 31
by Lisa Klein

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Lizzie and Rosanna are cousins. But when the Civil War breaks out, Lizzie finds herself committed to the cause of the Union, while Rosie is swept up in the passions of the old south. Torn in their alliances, each girl finds herself grappling with the brutality of war, and the elusive promise of love, until the battle at Gettysburg brings them together once agin.


Lizzie and Rosanna are cousins. But when the Civil War breaks out, Lizzie finds herself committed to the cause of the Union, while Rosie is swept up in the passions of the old south. Torn in their alliances, each girl finds herself grappling with the brutality of war, and the elusive promise of love, until the battle at Gettysburg brings them together once agin.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kathie Fitch
Lizzie and Rosanna are not only cousins but also best friends. Rosanna has been sent to live with her sister in Gettysburg because of what her parents considered to be an inappropriate romance. The date is 1860, and the town and townspeople quickly become embroiled in the Civil War. Lizzie's father and brother join the Union, and she takes over the management of the family butcher shop. Rosanna flees to Richmond where she is reunited with her former beau, John, whom she marries. He enlists in the Confederate Army and is slightly wounded in battle. Rosanna flies to his side, joins his regiment, and becomes a field nurse, learning as she goes. Back in Gettysburg, with the help of Amos, a freed slave, and Martin, a romantic interest, Lizzie struggles with the family business, which is rapidly failing, and a war that is approaching her doorstep. The characterization of the two cousins is well defined. Rosanna changes from a self-centered, fickle girl to a dedicated and compassionate nurse who soldiers on even after John is killed. Lizzie transforms from a quiet, timid girl into a courageous business woman. Both endure the blood and horror of war realistically. Each of their stories could stand alone, but the view of the Civil War from both sides works most successfully. Reviewer: Kathie Fitch
Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
This absorbing tale of two cousins begins in 1861 when both girls are living in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Fifteen-year-old Lizzie Allbauer, the daughter of a butcher, has lived there all her life with her parents, her older brother Luke, and her younger brother Benjamin. She thinks of herself as plain and shy and she is much impressed by her sixteen-year-old cousin Rosanna McGreevey, a beautiful, flirtatious girl who has recently moved from Richmond, Virginia, to live with her widowed sister Margaret and Margaret's young son and daughter. But in June their lives change when Lizzie's father and Luke enlist in the Union army along with Henry, the boy Rosanna favors. Now instead of going to school with Rosanna, Lizzie must run the butcher shop with the help of Amos, a black man who is trying to earn enough money to buy his wife's freedom. Throughout this first year the book is told by Lizzie, but when Rosanna runs back to Richmond in July, 1862, the voice of her diary takes over. She reunites with John Wilcox against her parents' wishes, but when he enlists in the Confederate army they permit her to marry him. Soon he is sent to war and when he is wounded, Rosanna joins him. Nursing him amid the horrors of battle makes her grow up quickly, and she continues nursing the wounded even after he is healed. The book cuts back and forth between the cousins as both girls become stronger and more independent. Amos brings his pregnant wife back to the Allbauers' home; John Wilcox dies; Lizzie and a local boy, Martin Weigel, fall in love; and Rosanna returns to Pennsylvania in time to suffer through the Battle of Gettysburg along with her sister and cousin. Their story is beautifully told, with muchattention to historical detail. In fact, Lizzie's portion is partially based on the experiences of Matilda Pierce, who wrote a memoir of the battle. An "Author's Note" and a list of twenty-three readings and four websites follow the text. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
School Library Journal

Gr 6-9

In 1861, the Confederacy has just declared its independence from the Union, but life goes on much as usual in the quiet town of Gettysburg. Fifteen-year-old Lizzie Allbauer and her cousin Rosanna, recently arrived from Virginia, have big plans to attend the Ladies' Seminary together in the fall. Then Lizzie's father and brother enlist in the Union army and she must stay home to help her mother run the family butcher shop. Rosanna flees back to Richmond after a Gettysburg beau is killed in one of the early battles. Torn between her romanticized view of the war and her parents' conservative rules, Rosanna impulsively agrees to marry a former beau, John Wilcox. Within a month of marriage, he is injured, and Rosanna rushes to meet up with the Virginia Infantry so that she can care for him. Realizing that she has a gift for healing, she stays on with her husband's company as a nurse. Chapters alternate between Rosanna's journal entries of her life as a Confederate nurse and Lizzie's accounts of the events leading up to the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. While Klein's extensive research is evident, the alternating voices have only limited success: readers will be drawn to Lizzie's genuine warmth, but frivolous Rosanna's leap to the ultra-responsible wife and nurse and the stilted dialogues in her journal entries stretch credibility. Still, Klein's weaving of the young women's stories to a shared conclusion gives a fresh perspective on the complexities of the Civil War.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Kirkus Reviews

Klein's second novel offers a new take on the brother-versus-brother saga of the American Civil War. Teenage cousins Lizzie and Rosanna become firm friends when Rosanna moves to the small town of Gettysburg, Pa. After the war begins, however, Rosanna returns home to Virginia and impetuously marries a Confederate soldier; Lizzie finds herself running her father's butcher shop after he and her brother join the Union army. Without quite meaning to, Rosanna becomes a camp follower and later a devoted army nurse; the cousins meet again as the battle of Gettyburg rages. Lizzie's first-person narration carries more emotional weight than Rosanna's somewhat distant journal entries, but none of the characters are developed strongly. The African-Americans, in particular, all seem rather like Mammy, cut from Good-Negro cloth, devoted to their white masters whether they are free or slave. But Klein's account of the battle and its effect on civilian life is compelling, and makes this a worthwhile addition to Civil War literature. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

LISA KLEIN's first book for Bloomsbury was Ophelia. She is currently at work on her own retelling of Macbeth for teens. A former professor of English, she lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her family.

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Two Girls of Gettysburg 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
clemmy More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. Through Rosanna and Lizzie, you could see how real the war was. So often we are so detached from what really happened that we don't realize the war was fought on people's lawns and farmland. Gettysburg, of course, was a major battle, and both girls are in the thick of it. They have different obstacles to overcome, but they are realistic for the time period. This is a book that you could actually imagine the events taking place in real life. I respect Lizzie, Rosanna too after a while. They are lovable, interesting characters who must overcome their own battles while helping those who fight the physical ones. Rosanna must find her practical, mature side, and Lizzie must decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life.
Maranna More than 1 year ago
In Two Girls of Gettysburg Lizzie and her cousin/best friend Rosana have the life living in the sleepy little town of Gettysburg. But when the Civil War breaks out, Lizzie's father and brother go off to join the union. Which leaves her the butcher shop to look after. Then when Rosanas beau dies in battle, she goes back home to Richmond, Virginia. If you like a story that keeps you on your toes to see what happens next, a little bit of romance, and a good old civil war book, then this book is PERFECT for you!!
hpfan95 More than 1 year ago
I checked this book out of the library 2 or 3 years ago and it was amazing! It is on my list to buy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cried and laughed at the story of Lizzie . I cried all the time during the story of Rosanna and her beau it is a beautiful story that i almost refused to give back to the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started liking this book after all the romance drama was mostly done.the battle parts were good,and i LOVED the patt with Abraham Lincoln.i could live without the romance of it all though ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading about two girl cousins and opposite sides of view.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good. I don't enjoy Rosanna as much as Lizzie and I find myself skipping her chapters when I reread, she's just too flaky and strange for me. Lizzie, however, is perfect and so is Martin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I have read it twice now and will do so again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Could'nt put it down! Worth the money!
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Gentry Hodnett More than 1 year ago
I Laughed,cried,was shock.....it was beautiful.
Margaret Kumm More than 1 year ago
This book follows two cousins that support opposite sides during the American Civil War. If you like historical fiction with a little romance, this book is for you. The characters are well developed and relatable. The story offers insight on what the Civil War was like not only for soldiers and nurses, but civilians as well. I really enjoyed this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a good mixture of history but the characters were ones you could relate too not just weird old timey people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
QueenofTrix More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! When I first started it I thought it might be a little dull but I quickly relized that I couldnt put it down. Its a fantastic read.
Pittstick1 More than 1 year ago
I love historical fiction with a splash of romance and this covered it. The characters were wonderful, though Rosanna bugged me often. I couldn't stop reading and on a couple of nights stayed up till one in the morning to read. It had interesting views on the Civil War and offered a view from both sides. The characters were relatable even though it takes place in 1863. Lisa Klein did a wonderful job of discribing the events through two different eyes. It was a GREAT book and I would recommend it for anyone and everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
katieadele1894 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Klein wrote the girls lives really well. They were peoploe I could relate too, even though they were going through the Civil War. The Civil War aspect made it much more interesting though. Definitely recommend.