- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2
The romance in the book garners 2 stars. Rhett and Scarlett are horrific to each other, and the love quadrangle between them and the Wilkes is eye-rollingly cliched (perhaps it was more original in 1939, but I doubt it). As a Civil War novel, I’d happily give it 5+ stars. While it is biased toward the South, given that most Civil War novels I’ve read are biased the other way, it was actually a nice change. I also appreciate the feminist thinking Scarlett – well ahead of her time (both the 1860s and 1939).
- Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
A little too slow to earn 5 stars, but a solid historical fiction about the Civil War. I appreciated the insights into the lives of the family left behind. It was painful in parts, but not too difficult to read with elementary school kids.
- I Survived: The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 by Lauren Tarshis
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
The story was exciting, the history lesson from the author was engaging, and the reading of the Gettysburg Address was stirring. My only complaint was that the text made it seem as if *all* Union soldiers were wonderful, and *all* Confederate soldiers were horrible. I understand that this is for kids, but kids are smart enough to understand that good people can support a bad cause, and vice versa.
- Iron Thunder by Avi
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
The title is a bit of a misnomer, as the battle is only a couple of short chapters at the end. Most of the book is about the building of the Monitor. Still, it’s well written and engaging (it’s Avi, after all), and it’s nice to find a kid’s book about Civil War naval operations.