On a cold, snowy night, Haswell Magruder makes a decision that will have a profound effect on his own life as well as the lives of all those he loves. A wounded Confederate soldier appears at the family’s Virginia farm, and Haswell convinces his mother and sister to take the man in, despite the certain repercussions if the enemy Yankees were to catch them in such a “traitorous” act. Unfortunately, this is precisely what happens, setting off a horrific chain of events that leaves Haswell’s mother dead and the farmhouse burned to the ground.
After leading his younger sister to safety with relatives, Haswell sets out on his journey in search of his older brother, a Confederate soldier. His quest is also a passage into manhood, as he experiences the last bloody days of the Civil War. Skillful storytelling, well-developed characters, and a fast-paced plot distinguish this compelling family story by an award-winning author.
Mary Downing Hahn’s many acclaimed novels include such beloved ghost stories as Wait Till Helen Comes, Deep and Dark and Dangerous, and Took. A former librarian, she has received more than fifty child-voted state awards for her work. She lives in Columbia, Maryland, with a cat named Nixi.
"a hard-hitting Civil War novel...honest grapplings with complex issues...will win readers' interest and sympathy from the outset" Publishers Weekly "vivid and accurate portrayl of the period...strong setting...entertaining and thought-provoking...a strong adventure...that resonates with universal themes." THE HORN BOOK Horn Book "A memorable journey...a boy whom readers will care about, a first-rate story...an essential addition to Civil War collections." KIRKUS REVIEWS Kirkus Reviews "wonderfully written story peopled by believable, three-dimensional characters...fine storytelling and characterization hook readers from the onset...an excellent choice." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL School Library Journal "brings readers up close . . . the action is fast and furious, and kids will be caught up in the story" BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA "Even if the fiction shelves are drooping with middle-grade Civil War novels, find room to squeeze in one more." THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "well-written...Reluctant younger teens might find this book an easy, enjoyable read." VOYA (VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) —