“A first-rate story.” —Kirkus Reviews On a cold, snowy night, thirteen-year-old Haswell Magruder makes a fateful decision. A wounded Confederate soldier appears at the family’s Virginia farm, and Haswell convinces his mother to take the man in, despite the dire repercussions if the enemy Yankees were to catch them in such an act. Unfortunately, this sets off a horrific chain of events that leaves their house burned to the ground and their farm in ruins. With no home left, Haswell sets out 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.
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."
"Vivid and accurate portrayal of the period . . . strong setting . . . entertaining and thought-provoking . . . a strong adventure . . . that resonates with universal themes."
“A memorable journey in the voice of a young boy whom readers will care about, a first-rate story, and an essential addition to Civil War collections.”
"Wonderfully written story peopled by believable, three-dimensional characters . . . fine storytelling and characterization hook readers from the onset . . . an excellent choice."
—School Library Journal
"Brings readers up close . . . the action is fast and furious, and kids will be caught up in the story."
"Even if the fiction shelves are drooping with middle-grade Civil War novels, find room to squeeze in one more."
"Well-written . . . Reluctant younger teens might find this book an easy, enjoyable read."