by Michelle Isenhoff (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 2011 by Candle Star Press
Hannah Wallace would like nothing better than to escape the tedium and never-ending work of the family farm. She feels lost among so many siblings and haunted by the memory of a brother that Pa wanted more than he wanted her. She needs a chance to set herself apart, but nothing exciting ever happens in Wayland.
When war breaks out between the states, her father and brother leave to fight, but the army isn't open to twelve-year-old girls. All the local dangers dried up years ago- soon after her parents unloaded their wagon on Michigan's fast-filling frontier- leaving Hannah with nothing but pretend adventures. Before long, the pressures of running an unmanned farm wring even her imagination dry.
Then the farm is threatened. Hannah vows to save it to finally prove herself to Pa. Her determination catches her up in the adventure she's always longed for and leads to some discoveries about herself that she never expected.
I really enjoyed this book! As a work of historical fiction, it gives a glimpse into the lives and struggles of families during the civil war. I think many readers can relate to Hannah- wanting adventure and to escape the daily routine but having to imagine a way out instead. Hannah's strong personality and desire to prove herself help her family pull through major struggles. I think this book would appeal to audiences young and old. The characters are easy to relate to and their trials, although set years ago, can be understood by so many today. Many know the work and sacrifice of having a family member serving in the military or the struggles of having an ill family member or financial hardship. This book is great for late elementary level and up! I'm looking forward to the final book in the trilogy!