DescriptionImagine being fifteen years old, facing the bloodiest battle ever to take place on U.S. soil: the Battle of Gettysburg. In July 1863, this is exactly what happened to Tillie Pierce, a normal teenager who became an unlikely heroine of the Civil War (1861-1865). Tillie and other women and girls like her found themselves trapped during this critical three-day battle in southern Pennsylvania. Without training, but with enormous courage and compassion, Tillie and other Gettysburg citizens helped save the lives of countless wounded Union and Confederate soldiers.
In gripping prose, Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the of Battle Gettysburg takes readers behind the scenes. And through Tillie’s own words, the story of one of the Civil War’s most famous battles comes alive.
What I loved about this book... I love the real photographs. The Civil War was the first major event that was photographed, thanks in part to Matthew Brady. It was the first time that we saw a true picture of the devastation of war. The Civil War has always felt the most real to me because of that. These pictures are amazing.
I love that Tillie's real words are used throughout the book. Tanya explains the history and then uses Tillie's comments to further illustrate what she is saying. Real eyewitness accounts are significantly more powerful than someone else's interpretations. The fact that these are the observations of a teenager should speak to younger readers, as Tillie is more of one of their peers telling the story. I have visited Gettysburg and have tried to imagine what it was like. Reading her descriptions and feelings, in conjunction with the pictures, brings it more to life as a real event.
I do wish that more of Tillie's words would have been in the book. I think I need to actually find her book and read it to fulfill that desire, though. When I originally read the description, I thought it was going to mostly be Tillie, with a little commentary thrown in. Instead, it was the other way around.
Another aspect of this book that I appreciated was the section at the end that gives follow-up activities and further reading and research that kids can do.
With the amount of reading in this 100-page book and the language used, I would recommend it for middle grades and above. Adults looking for a quick read about the Civil War may also enjoy it.