This novel incorporates Sarah Morgan's actual diary entries into a story of Civil War survival.
Children's LiteratureSarah Morgan and her family are living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1862 when Union troops arrive to occupy the city. Faced with bombardment and shortages of food, Sarah and her family flee into the countryside. After a year of moving from place to place, they finally cross Lake Ponchartrain into Federally-occupied New Orleans and take refuge with her brother and his family. Passages from Sarah Morgan's real-life diary add voice and authenticity to the story. A tale of perseverance and fortitude, the book is an articulate and lively account of the war from a non-combatant's viewpoint. It will be a valuable resource to students interested in learning more about everyday life and attitudes in the South during the Civil War. 2001, Pelican Publishing, $10.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Valerie O. Patterson
School Library JournalGr 5-7-Based on an actual Civil War diary, this historical novel depicts the civilian experience in and around Baton Rouge during 1862-1863. Sarah Morgan, 20, is one of many upper-class Confederate loyalists living through the occupation of Louisiana by Union troops. With her father deceased and her brothers away fighting, Sarah, her mother, and sisters must cope independently when they are forced to evacuate their home and seek passage to New Orleans. As she adjusts to unaccustomed deprivations, her main consolation is writing in her journal, which is always among the limited possessions she can carry with her. Unfortunately, this promising material falls flat despite the author's meticulous research and faithful adherence to the original diary's contents. Though the third-person narrator describes Sarah's actions and feelings, neither she nor any of the other characters come fully to life as distinct individuals, and their virtually identical speech patterns make it difficult to differentiate among them. In contrast, direct quotations from the real Sarah Morgan scattered throughout the book are lively and compelling, but there are not enough of them to make this a candidate for first purchase.-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
- Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.20(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
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