The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863

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Series: I Survived Vol. 7   

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Annotation: Young Thomas and his sister are runaway slaves looking for freedom when they meet a Union soldier who allows them to accompany his regiment; but the men are called into battle, and Thomas and his sister must find a way to survive.
Catalog Number: #69049
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Chapter Book Chapter Book
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Illustrator: Dawson, Scott,
Pages: 89 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-45936-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-59136-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-45936-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-59136-3
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Tarshis, author of the popular Emma-Jean Lazarus novels, presents a highly personalized narrative of the Battle of Gettysburg. The story follows former slave Thomas and his little sister Birdie as they fall in with Union forces and make their way north. The Union army rolls toward its epic clash in a small Pennsylvania town, and Thomas becomes a unwitting participant in one of the most formative events in American history. Tarshis writes with sharp, clear, emotional language: "There they were, rebel soldiers ready to charge. There were thousands of them n in front on horseback, waving gleaming swords." Back matter includes common questions and answers about the Civil War, along with the text of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Others in the I Survived series include high-interest topics such as Pearl Harbor and September 11.
Kirkus Reviews
The seventh (chronologically earliest) entry in the series pitches a young former slave into the middle of the Civil War's pivotal battle. Having saved a Union soldier named Henry Green by hurling a live skunk at his Confederate captors, young Thomas finds himself and his little sister Birdie adopted by Green's unit. Three weeks, an ambush and a quick march later, Thomas unexpectedly finds himself in the thick of the fighting--possibly on Missionary Ridge itself, though the author doesn't provide a specific location. Rather than go into details of the battle, Tarshis offers broad overviews of slavery and the war's course (adding more about the latter in an afterword that includes the text of the Gettysburg Address). She folds these into quick pictures of military camp life and the violence-laced fog of war. Afterward, Thomas and Birdie are reunited with their older cousin Clem, who had been sold away, and make good on a promise to Green (who doesn't survive) to settle with his Vermont parents and attend the school taught by his sweetheart. Sentimental of plotline but informative and breathlessly paced. (Q&A, annotated reading list) (Historical fiction. 9-11)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 12,262
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 156538 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.8 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q59599
Lexile: 660L

The bloodiest battle in American history is under way . . .

It's 1863, and Thomas and his little sister, Birdie, have fled the farm where they were born and raised as slaves. Following the North Star, looking for freedom, they soon cross paths with a Union soldier. Everything changes: Corporal Henry Green brings Thomas and Birdie back to his regiment, and suddenly it feels like they've found a new home. Best of all, they don't have to find their way north alone--they're marching with the army.

But then orders come through: The men are called to battle in Pennsylvania. Thomas has made it so far . . . but does he have what it takes to survive Gettysburg?


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