Wind on the River: A Story of the Civil War

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Bring history to life with compelling stories,

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  • Historical fiction helps students connect to their middle school

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Overview

Bring history to life with compelling stories,

sweeping scope, and a welcoming sense of diversity

  • Historical fiction helps students connect to their middle school

    social studies classes

  • Reading skill instruction and cross-curricular connections improve

    comprehension of historical fiction

  • Strong multicultural flavor reflects the rich tapestry of our shared

    American heritages

Jamestown's American Portraits, a saga of American families and friends,

traces the history of America from the founding of Jamestown to the Civil

Rights Movement. This is a unique, enriching series designed to teach

reading strategies appropriate for historical novels used in middle school

reading, language arts, or social studies classes.

  • Reading Level 5-8
  • Interest Level 6-8

In 1863, fifteen-year-old Private Allen of South Carolina, captured at the Battle of Gettysburg, decides to switch his allegiance to the Union and is sent to fight "savages" in Dakota Territory, where he confronts his prejudices and learns what heroism really means.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Griff, a private in the Confederate Army, has endured many hardships in his young life, beginning with an abusive father. After the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Griff and his buddies are taken prisoner by Yankee soldiers. To escape the dismal Point Lookout prison, Griff swallows hard and takes the oath of allegiance to become a Yankee himself. Looking forward to adventure and freedom, Griff instead finds himself on a boat to Dakota Territory under the direction of a sadistic Colonel. At his new home in Fort Rice, Griff must adjust to the constant threat of Indian attacks and the hostile elements. Griff matures when his potential is tested and prejudices challenged. Readers will share Griff's confusing world and cheer him on as he seeks a better life. This book, which is one in the publisher's "American Portraits" series, would be an excellent choice to supplement educational materials for middle school social studies classes. 2000, Jamestown Publishers/NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, Ages 9 to 13, $5.95. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
Children's Literature
This entry in the "Jamestown American Portraits" series shows what life might be like for a young private serving time in the Civil War. Fifteen and free of family, young Griff enlists and figures out how to benefit from the war until the day that he is taken hostage—and at that point he learns how rough life can be if one is not on the right side. First he lands in a Yankee prison camp which takes a toll on his body and he suffers many times over. Then the opportunity arises for him to change his allegiance and serve in the Union Army. The assignment leads him north to where gold has been found, and civilians are getting rich. Will he desert the Yankees and head north to unknown riches or will he serve his time, and eventually head home? The author weaves an interesting tale about life in the Civil War era, but the way Griff switches sides so easily left me feeling confused and wondering why he originally enlisted if he felt no loyalty to the South. This makes Griff appear shallow and not worth taking seriously. The added twist of finding gold in the north takes the reader out of the actual story and does not seem necessary. Overall, the story illuminates events that eventually led to the resolution of the war, but do not expect more. 2004, Waterbird Books, Ages 8 to 12.
—Julia Beiker
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780769634258
  • Publisher: School Specialty Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: Jamestown Education American Portraits Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

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Table of Contents

Wind on the River reveals the coming-of-age experience of 15-year-old Private John Griffith Allen, a Confederate soldier from South Carolina. Griff survives the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 only to be captured by Yankee soldiers and sent as a prisoner of war to the notorious death trap called Point Lookout.

After taking the oath of allegiance, switching sides and becoming a "Galvanized Yankee," Griff is sent to remote Fort Rice on the upper Missouri River in Dakota Territory. There he struggles to discover who he is while surviving the rigors of a hostile new environment and a terrifying Indian war. His encounter with two half-sisters living at Fort Rice challenges his prejudices and forces him to reconsider what it means to be a hero.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

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