Cover image for A light in the storm : the Civil War diary of Amelia Martin
Title:
A light in the storm : the Civil War diary of Amelia Martin
Author:
Hesse, Karen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, 1999.
Physical Description:
169 pages : illustrations, maps ; 20 cm.
Summary:
In 1860 and 1861, while working in her father's lighthouse on an island off the coast of Delaware, fifteen-year-old Amelia records in her diary how the Civil War is beginning to devastate her divided state.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
850 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.3 4.0 32207.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.6 7 Quiz: 15348 Guided reading level: T.
ISBN:
9780590567336
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Summary

Summary

In 1861, Amelia Martin's father is stripped of his post as a ship's captain when he is caught harboring the leader of a slave rebellion. Now he is an assistant lighthouse keeper on Fenwick Island, off the coast of Delaware-a state wedged between the North and the South, just as Amelia is wedged between her constantly arguing parents. Amelia's mother blames her abolitionist husband for their living conditions, which she claims are taking a toll on her health. As the Civil War rages on, Amelia slowly learns that she cannot stop the fighting, but by keeping watch in the lighthouse each day, lighting the lamps, cleaning the glass, and rescuing victims of Atlantic storms, she can make a difference.


Author Notes

Karen Hesse (born on August 29, 1952 Baltimore, Maryland) is an American author of children's literature and literature for young adults. She studied theatre at Towson State College, and finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland in English, Psychology, and Anthropology. In 1998 she won the Newbery Medal for her young adult novel, Out of the Dust.

Hesse lives in Vermont with her husband and two teen-aged daughters.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. From the Dear America series, this volume represents the fictional diary of Nellie Lee Love, who grew up surrounded by her extended family in Bradford Corners, Tennessee, and moved to Chicago as part of the great migration. Set in 1919, the book clearly shows the differences between life in the rural South and in the urban North, the reasons that persuaded many to go north, and some of the difficulties they faced in their new home. Nellie's personal story involves an uncle murdered by resentful rednecks; a sister who loses her power of speech, then regains it; a father who struggles to start a business without paying off city hall; a neighbor killed in a Chicago race riot; the courtship between Nellie's preacher and her teacher; and Nellie's own struggle to deal with differing attitudes toward lighter and darker skin tones within the African American community. There's a lot of background to fill in, given most readers' ignorance of the period, and the story's points are sometimes repeatedly hammered home, but the strong narrative will keep children involved and give them a great deal of social history to absorb along the way. A solid addition to a popular series. Carolyn Phelan


Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-This diary chronicles 15-year-old Amelia Martin's chaotic life during the turbulent first year of the Civil War. Amelia's father is the assistant lighthouse keeper at Fenwick Island off the coast of southern Delaware. Amelia willingly shares in the duties of standing watch and maintaining the equipment. Through her diary, readers learn that her father sides with the Union while her mother favors the Confederacy, and that their marriage is crumbling just as the country threatens to divide. Amelia admits that while at one time she agreed with her mother's views, she now believes in the abolition of slavery and sympathizes with President Lincoln. When a friend drowns in a skating accident, Amelia becomes friendly with his brother, Daniel, and soon develops a romantic relationship that continues to grow after Daniel volunteers for the Union Army. In the style of light keepers' logs, each entry records the date, weather, and wind conditions. An appended historical note offers more information about the Civil War. Sure to please historical fiction fans as well as followers of the series.-Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.