Winner of the 1958 Newbery Medal
Civil War books for kids seem to focus primarily on the war in the East, but this tale is set in Kansas and Oklahoma and brings the Western campaign to life. Jeff Bussey joins the Union side to fight at a time when a man named Stand Watie is leading the Comanche tribe against the Union forces in the western territory. This is a gritty tale of deprivation and fear and of the many different kinds of men that came together to fulfill their duty and fight for what they wanted to protect. This is the 1958 winner of the Newbery Medal. 350 pages Ages 11-15
Keywords: Civil War, military, war, American history, Newbery Medal, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Winner of the Newbery Medal * An ALA Notable Children’s Book * Winner of the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
A captivating and richly detailed novel about one young soldier who saw the Civil War from both sides and lived to tell the tale.
Earnest, plain-spoken sixteen-year-old Jeff Bussey has finally gotten his father’s consent to join the Union volunteers. It’s 1861 in Linn County, Kansas, and Jeff is eager to fight for the North before the war is over, which he’s sure will be soon.
But weeks turn to months, the marches through fields and woods prove endless, hunger and exhaustion seem to take up permanent residence in Jeff’s bones, and he learns what it really means to fight in battle—and to lose friends. When he finds himself among enemy troops, he’ll have to put his life on the line to advance the Union cause.
Thoroughly researched and based on firsthand accounts, Rifles for Watie “should hold a place with the best Civil War fiction for young people” (The Horn Book).
A strong choice for independent reading and for sharing in a classroom and for homeschooling. As a homeschool cooperative teacher commented: "The book has launched many discussions in our class. When a person is on one side of a conflict, it is important to remember that people on the other side are also people. Jeff is a perfect model for how treating people with respect can happen even in war." ---from the publisher