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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On Order

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^-7. This addition to the Dear America series chronicles the life of Amelia Martin, the 15-year-old daughter of a Delaware lighthouse keeper, through the year 1861 as her family and the country become embroiled in the Civil War. Amelia's home life is a microcosm of national issues: she and her father favor the abolitionist cause; her mother and grandmother support slavery. Life on Fenwick Island is a further source of conflict. Amelia and Mr. Martin love their duties protecting seafaring vessels and their passengers, but the constant humidity and sea spray aggravate Mrs. Martin's arthritis, sending her into a spiraling depression. Hesse's writing shines, as always, but the story line takes a back seat to setting and historical background. Characters seem to exist as a means of furthering a particular viewpoint rather than as multidimensional human beings. Nevertheless, Amelia is a plucky young woman who will appeal to middle-grade readers, especially fans of this series. --Kay Weisman


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.