The Civil War is a history text like
no other. Essentially a museum in a book, it offers black and white,
sepia, and color illustrations, drawings, photographs, and maps
from page one. It is a long-lasting hardback with sturdy pages
and a glossary in the back. Interaction is encouraged by providing
a real spinning cipher for the reader to use as well as many "lift the flaps" with
tidbits of interesting material underneath like the Emancipation
Proclamation, the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States, and
how hot air balloons were used in the war. There are a few photographs
on flaps that open up at the edges of the pages to extend the material
covered. There are envelopes to open with removable letters to
read, such as a letter from a Yankee soldier, one from Abraham
Lincoln, and from General Lee. There is even a page where you pull
the tab to show the before and after at a railroad depot that Sherman
The content inside begins with images of life in the North and
the South before the war and leads the reader through the growing
conflicts of slavery, taxes, and states' rights, and to the first
violence in the 1850s in the Border Wars and at Harpers Ferry.
The battles, the armies, the African American experience, unsung
heroes, spies, and inventions are described, among others. It continues
through to the end of the war and the rebuilding of our country.
The stories are written almost like a newspaper, in small, readable
This "hands-on history book" is aimed at learners of ages eight
and up. The Civil War is not a full curriculum, but is
a terrific supplement or review. Because the readers are engaged
in a tactile activity on nearly every page, they will likely remember
more details later on.
Just picking up the book makes me excited! We are going to be
studying the Civil War next semester and I can hardly wait to read
this book with my boys as a way to kick it off. My teenage daughter
is excited about reading it, too. We will keep this book for many
years to come, to use in school and to review from time to time.
It's a real treasure!