You’re fifteen—and your town has just become a war zone. Your teacher tells you to run home as quickly as you can. Enemy soldiers loot and plunder, even stealing your family’s horse. Your neighbor asks for your help as she flees with her children to safer ground a few miles away; your mother agrees and sends you on your way.
The trek seems an eternity, through ankle-sucking mud amid cannons booming and gunfire crackling. But the farmhouse where you thought you’d be safe quickly becomes an ad hoc field hospital as war descends around you and wave after wave of wounded and dying seek refuge in and around the home.
What do you do? Remarkable teen Tillie Pierce, who found herself at the center of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, bravely handed out water to Union soldiers, tended to the wounded, and comforted the dying. And then she wrote about it, years later penning At Gettysburg: Or, What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle.
Now, author Tanya Anderson expands on Tillie’s account, adding rich contextual detail and historical background in the gripping Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg. In my May children's market column at Authorlink.com, Anderson shares the research and writing process behind this Junior Library Guild selection, of which Kirkus enthuses, “Tillie’s words bring the sights, sounds and smells of a civilian and teenager experiencing war straight to today’s readers in a way a retrospective account cannot.”
Causes Susan VanHecke Supports
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
National Trust For Historic Preservation