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Ghosts of the Civil War [Hardcover]

By Cheryl Harness (Author)
Our Price $ 14.45  
Retail Value $ 17.00  
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Item Number 151310  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   48
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.28" Width: 10.16" Height: 0.45"
Weight:   1.17 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2002
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  0689831358  
EAN  9780689831355  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

Lindsey couldn't have cared less about the Civil War, let alone a battle reenactment. After all, who cares about a boring old war that happened more than a hundred years ago?

And then she meets Willie -- but he's not just another kid, he's actually Willie Lincoln, and he's traveled back to the present to explain exactly what the Civil War was really about.

He takes Lindsey by the hand and leads her on a tour like no other as they witness heated debates about abolition, secession, and patriotism. They visit Fort Sumter as the war is declared, witness bloody battles like Bull Run and Gettysburg unfold before them, and then watch General Lee's surrender to Grant at the Appomattox Court House. And just when Lindsey thinks this gruesome, terrible war is all over, she watches with terror as the tragic assassination of President Abraham Lincoln occurs right before her eyes.

Filled with detailed maps, glossaries, biographies, and dynamic, glorious illustrations, Ghosts of the Civil War brings this monumental era in American history fully alive. It's a journey that Lindsey -- and every reader along with her -- will never forget.

Buy Ghosts of the Civil War by Cheryl Harness from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780689831355 & 0689831358

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More About Cheryl Harness

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Cheryl Harness is the author and/or illustrator of numerous children's books, including seven picture book biographies for National Geographic. She has a natural talent for making history fun for kids, injecting the "wow" factor into the lives of America's historical heroes and heroines. A multi-award winning author and illustrator, she lives in her historic hometown of Independence MO. Visit Cheryl Harness at her Web site:

Cheryl Harness currently resides in Independence, in the state of Missouri.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
packed with info  Apr 20, 2008
My 9yr old loves this book and wants to get another in the series. It has a lot of information in it, but can be difficult to navigate through it as the pages are so busy - both a plus and a minus.
Great book and we will probably get the Ghosts of the Whitehouse too.
Intriguing  Jan 13, 2008
This picture book for upper elementary has fascinating detailed pictures and printing. The book has a current narrative, which takes the reader into history. The learners may enjoy the fantastic images.
Willie Lincoln takes young Lindsey on a trip through the Civil War  Mar 15, 2006
I read "Ghosts of the Civil War" as I am working my way through Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," so the idea of being able to go back in time, as it were, to talk to these people when they were alive is appealing to me. Of course, I have been thinking of what could have been said to Abraham Lincoln, George B. McClellan, or anybody else who appears in these books that could have shortened the war and saved hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides. However, in her fascinating book, writer-artist Cheryl Harness sends her young surrogate Lindsey back to the past in the company of Willie Lincoln to find about what the Civil War was really about.

The idea is that Lindsey has been dragged by her parents to a Civil War re-enactment (I have been to couple of those in Illinois and at one of them Abraham Lincoln showed up). Lindsey thinks the whole thing is dumb, that there is nothing civilized about a rotten war, and has no idea why the North fought the South. But then she sees a sad little boy who seems lost. He explains that he was just wondering why future folks were playing out the War of the Rebellion. When Lindsey wonders why people in the United States could be so dumb as to war against each other, the boy explains it was because the states where not united at all, and proceeds to show her. The next thing she knows, Lindsey is watching a beardless Abraham Lincoln giving his "House Divided" speech at the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois on June 16, 1858. Harness provides a two-page spread that show the entire country divided into free states, slave states, and U.S. territories. Off to the side a list of key dates on the road to the Civil War are laid out, while Willie explains to Lindsey how the national was like two different countries, with factories in the North and farms in the South, a distinction emphasized by how Harness illustrates what is happening in each state.

This sets up the basic approach of the book. Each two-spread spread shows a particular scene, from the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the First Battle of Manassas to Pickett's Charge and the Gettysburg Address. The people shown in the pictures make interesting comments (e.g., the old woman at Lincoln's inauguration who saw George Washington sworn-in 72 years earlier at New York and thinks it would break the first president's heart to see his nation breaking apart), while Willie explains key points and Lindsey responses to what she sees and hears. I was wondering why Harness picked Willie to be the guide rather than Tad, seeing as how the former died in 1862 and the latter did not die until 1871. But there is a point where Lindsey knows what is going to happen next and Willie warns her that things cannot be changed no matter how much they might want, and the conceit does off a chance for father and son to be reunited in the afterlife (it might be a bit much, but I can appreciate the sentiment).

The key thing is that at the end Lindsey is able to tell her dad that the Civil War was about a whole lot more than cannons and flags and stuff. The back of the book provides a look at some of the key figures both North and South, paying attention to not only presidents and generals, like Jefferson Davis and Ulysses S. Grant, but also key figures in the slavery issue, such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, and some notable women who were battlefield nurses, spies, and tragic figures. This provides a nice cross section of people with less then half of them being military figures. A two-page map shows the major campaigns and battlefield sets, while another page is devoted to the flags of the two sides, a chart explaining how the soldiers were organized, and some of the key firsts that made the Civil War the First Modern War. Finally, there is a Glossary of key terms from "Abolitionist" to "Zouave," and a short Bibliography and list of Recommended Reading surrounded by a Look Around the World in the Time of the Civil War.

Ultimately, I am not sure that "Ghosts of the Civil War" works as an introductory book for young readers, and that they really need to know a little something about the subject to get the most out of this interesting volume. Harness' goal is to make the people of the Civil War seem a bit more like real people, and to do this by filling the pages completely with artwork and information. If you start from scratch this onslaught of information and images could be a bit much, but once a young student understand the basics of the Civil War this book will expand their knowledge and be a lot more fun to read than a history textbook. Harness has written similar volumes, "Ghosts of the 20th Century" and "Ghosts of the White House," that take the same approach in presenting a wealth of information to her young readers.

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