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The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities, by Janis Herbert

Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1999. Pp. xii, 148. Illus., maps, diagr., gloss., bios., cyberology., biblio, index. $16.95 paper. ISBN: 1556523556.

An Outstanding ‘First Book’ On the Civil War

Herbert, author The American Revolution for Kids and several other works, has the knack of explaining complex historical events in a simple, easily readable form.

Herbert opens by firmly placing slavery at the root of the war, a subject often avoided in books about the war for young people. Then, in a series of short chapters, she then covers mobilization and organization, operations, camp life, the home fronts, death, injury, and capture, deception, war correspondents and newspapers, and the aftermath of the war. Herbert supplements her narrative with picture captions, side-bars, and a glossary that offer tid-bits about various people, army organization, vocabulary, mascots, ballooning, drummer boys, particular units, fraternization, and more. Her treatment in appropriate for younger readers.

And then there are the recommended activities. They include how to make codes, musical bones, uniforms, and tents, recreating battles, using wigwag flags, and tips on how to research the war and the records of individual soldiers.

A volume in the excellent Chicago Review Press “For Kids” series, The Civil War For Kids is an entertaining and informative book, this is a good introductory work for young persons, and one which even adults more familiar with the history of the war may find informative.

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Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   


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