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Voices of Gettysburg

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Overview

During the Battle of Gettysburg, soldiers and civilians alike witnessed the heroism and tragedy of combat. Considered a turning point in American history, the three-day struggle ended Lee's invasion of the North. So intense was the fighting that more soldiers lost their lives at Gettysburg than during any other battle of the Civil War. This fictional collection of reflections based on actual events occurring between June 3, 1863, and July 2, 1923, provides a unique perspective ...

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Overview

During the Battle of Gettysburg, soldiers and civilians alike witnessed the heroism and tragedy of combat. Considered a turning point in American history, the three-day struggle ended Lee's invasion of the North. So intense was the fighting that more soldiers lost their lives at Gettysburg than during any other battle of the Civil War. This fictional collection of reflections based on actual events occurring between June 3, 1863, and July 2, 1923, provides a unique perspective of what it was like to live through those historic days.

The voices of those involved, from Robert E. Lee and George Meade to foot soldiers and civilians, from Chamberlain in his heroic downhill rally to a color-bearer in Pickett's doomed charge against Union lines, share the apprehension and horrors of battle, pride in their country and their cause, and sorrow over the lives lost. Through their stories a complete picture of one of the most important battles of the Civil War emerges.

Sherry Garland is the author of nearly thirty books and has won more than forty awards and honors, including an ALA Notable Children's Book award, Reading Rainbow Book Award, and California Young Reader Medal. Her work has been selected for the IRA/CBC Children's Choices list, Best Books for Young Adults list, and Texas Bluebonnet Award reading list. She is the author of Pelican's The Buffalo Soldier and Voices of the Alamo and wrote two books in the popular Dear America historical series. She is a full-time author and lecturer residing in Bryan, Texas.

Judith Hierstein, a former elementary-school teacher, teaches high-school graphic arts. She is the illustrator of the Toby Belfer Series, Nathan's Hanukkah Bargain, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House, The American Revolution from A to Z, and The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving from A to Z, all published by Pelican. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Brief but poignant, first-person narratives from a variety of fictional individuals present a portrait of the battle of Gettysburg and highlight its importance in the larger conflict of the Civil War. From a mother watching soldiers march by outside her window in Chambersburg, PA, to a teacher-turned-nurse and a photographer to generals from both sides of the conflict, the "voices" represent a wide cross-section of people and demonstrate the far-reaching effects of war. The chronological entries (with dates, and often hour, noted) provide readers with a timeframe of the conflict. An author's note adds useful background information. While the dialogue is fictionalized, it's based on historical research. Included are small details that will fascinate readers (hot-air balloons were used for spying) and offer information about peoples' characters (General Lee orders his soldiers to buy food rather than steal it, though Confederate dollars were worthless in Pennsylvania). The text is especially effective in describing the topography of the Gettysburg area and how it affected the battle. Unfortunately, the watercolor paintings have an amateurish quality to them, with the figures' heads sometimes out of proportion to their bodies. However, the artwork does effectively provide a sense of time and place. This book is not intended as an introduction to the Civil War, but will be a valuable supplementary source to enrich a classroom study or to prepare for a visit to the battlefield.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589806535
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/23/2010
  • Series: Voices of History Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

A former elementary school teacher, Judith Hierstein now teaches high school graphic and media arts. She has illustrated several children's books for Pelican including the Toby Belfer Series and The American Revolution A to Z, Nathan's Hanukkah Bargain, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House, and The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving from A to Z. She lives in Tuscon, Arizona.

Sherry Garland has written thirty books and won more than forty awards, including an ALA Notable and a Reading Rainbow book selection. She enjoys writing about history and created her Voices Series to bring a personal note to pivotal moments in America's past. The series includes Voices of the Dust Bowl, Voices of Gettysburg, and Voices of the Alamo. Her other titles include Best Horse on the Force, The Buffalo Soldier, and Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam, available from Pelican. Garland is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in central Texas.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Will educate young readers

    "Four-score and seven years ago." began the famous speech given by President Lincoln at the dedication ceremony for the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Every schoolchild is taught those words, but can they recount the Battle of Gettysburg, the confrontation that brought President Lincoln to Gettysburg on that dreary November day?

    Voices of Gettysburg brings the events of the Battle of Gettysburg to life by telling fictional stories of those who were there. Young readers will hear accounts from the Confederate and Union soldiers, as well as various civilians. Each brief tale takes just a page to tell.

    The book begins almost a month before the battle, with commentary from General Robert E. Lee. Lee introduces himself and then tells of his high hopes for pushing deep into the North's territory. Following Lee's narrative are a couple of soldiers' comments, as well as a frightened woman telling of a visit by Confederate soldiers on their way to combat.

    The three violent days of battle are covered with sensitivity and yet, leaves no doubt that Gettysburg was a horrible, bloody fight.

    "Now the second day of battle is over; thousands lie dead.
    In the end, nothing was gained nor lost.
    Both the Union and the Confederate lines
    Remain where they were when the day began."
    The author has skillfully included mention of several battle related techniques that were used during the Civil War, techniques that many young readers will learn about for the first time. A private in the Second Wisconsin describes the 'observation balloon' used to count tents and campfires while an artist for Harper's Weekly describes his job of recording the war through drawings.

    Voices of Gettysburg is an excellent resource for those striving to learn about this important battle. At the end of the book is an in-depth two page historical note, making the book a perfect addition to school libraries as well as the homeschooler's collection.

    Quill says: Voices of Gettysburg recounts a pivotal battle in the Civil War that will educate young readers.

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