Cover image for Retreat from Gettysburg
Title:
Retreat from Gettysburg
Author:
Ernst, Kathleen, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Shippensburg, PA : White Mane Kids, 2000.
Physical Description:
viii, 141 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
Summary:
In 1863, during the tense week after the Battle of Gettysburg, a Maryland boy faces difficult choices as he is forced to care for a wounded Confederate officer while trying to decide if he himself should leave his family to fight for the Union.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781572491878
Format :
Book

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Clarence Library X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Collins Library X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Concord Library X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Summary

Summary

In 1863, during the tense week after the Battle of Gettysburg, a Maryland boy faces difficult choices as he is forced to care for a wounded Confederate officer while trying to decide if he himself should leave his family to fight for the Union.


Author Notes

Kathleen Ernst received a degree in forestry from West Virginia University. Before becoming a full time writer in 2004, she worked at an outdoor living history museum called Old World Wisconsin for 12 years and as a television writer. Her first published historical fiction novels were The Night Riders of Harpers Ferry and The Bravest Girl in Sharpsburg. She has also written numerous American Girl novels including 6 books about Caroline Abbott published in 2012. Her other works include Hearts of Stone, the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series, and the nonfiction book Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. In July 1863, 14-year-old Chig O'Malley looks after his depressed, withdrawn mother in their Williamsport, Maryland, cabin. Floodwaters swell the nearby Potomac, where Confederate troops are retreating from the Gettysburg battlefield. When a doctor insists that the O'Malleys care for a wounded Confederate soldier, they reluctantly comply, but Chig finds himself struggling to act with Christian compassion toward a representative of the men who killed his father and brothers. Chig's personal victory comes in helping the soldier cross the Potomac. Meanwhile, he and his mother both come to terms with the loss of loved ones, Chig decides what his role in the war must be, and his mother is reconciled with her daughter-in-law and baby grandchild. Meticulous attention to history is the strong point of this first-person narrative, which takes on an ambitious story, perhaps too large to develop well in such a short novel. Still, the characters are distinctly drawn and young people with a strong interest in the period may enjoy absorbing history through Chig's descriptions. Black-and-white illustrations, including period photos, engravings, and paintings, appear throughout the book, and an author's note and an annotated bibliography are appended. --Carolyn Phelan


School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-Chigger O'Malley, 14, chronicles the Rebel army's retreat through Williamsport, MD. The boy, whose father and brothers fought and died in the Union army, undergoes a crisis of character when he and his mother are forced to care for a wounded Confederate officer. The research and attention to historical detail are exemplary; the author has masterfully combined factual events with a powerful plot. Interspersed throughout the teen's accounting of these two tumultuous weeks in 1863 are period photographs, reproduced from a variety of institutions such as the National Archives and the C & O Canal National Historic Park. These illustrations are seamlessly integrated with the narrative. Through the pacing and point of view, Ernst does a good job of holding readers' interest, and the main character's voice is clear and compelling. An excellent example of how to teach history through fiction.-Toniann Scime, Amherst Museum, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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