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Children's Literature Reviews
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Annie, between the states
L.M. Elliott.
New York : Katherine Tegen Books, c2004.
488 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 479-483).
Instead of spending her teen years at parties and balls, Annie, an idealistic, poetry-loving patriot, finds herself nursing soldiers, hiding valuables, and running the household as the Civil War rages around her family's Virginia home.

Best Books:

Booklist Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth, 2005 ; American Library Association; United States
Teachers' Choices, 2005 ; International Reading Association; United States

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

Virginia Readers' Choice Award, 2006-2007 ; Nominee; High School; Virginia

Reading Measurement Programs:

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Upper Grade
Book Level 5.5
Accelerated Reader Points 16

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.
Lexile Measure 800

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level High School
Reading Level 5
Title Point Value 23
Lexile Measure 800


Jennifer Mattson (Booklist, Dec. 1, 2004 (Vol. 101, No. 7))
Part Ken Burns' The Civil War, part Gone with the Wind, Elliott's third novel will be devoured by fans of historical fiction, and it's a natural choice for readers who gained the Northern perspective in Richard Peck's A River between Us (2003). As Virginia shuttles between Union and Confederate control, Annie witnesses "revolting horrors" in her own backyard. She is initially convinced that her side of the battle is the right one--Virginia fights for states' rights, not for slavery. But her certainty deteriorates as the war divides her family both physically and ideologically, and as she gradually loses her heart to an occupying Union soldier. Elliott's research is evident in a five-page bibliography, although the painstaking incorporation of war personalities, battles, and strategies at times bogs down the novel. Nonetheless, fiery, intelligent Annie remains a heroine to relish, and YAs who encounter her story will find themselves pondering the soul-wrenching questions she asks: "Had their war been a justifiable one? Could anything justify this much carnage?" Category: Books for Older Readers--Fiction. 2004, HarperCollins, $15.99, $16.89. Gr. 7-11.

Greg M. Romaneck (Children's Literature)
Living in Virginia, Annie Sinclair finds her family in the crosshairs of the Civil War. Early in the conflict Annie and her mother are forced to serve as nurses tending to both Union and Confederate wounded from the Battle of First Manassas. In that capacity Annie discovers that in her heart she saw no difference in the sadness attendant to the death of either a Yankee or a Rebel soldier. Despite her love of her native South--for which two of her brothers are fighting--the issue of slavery troubles Annie and causes her to question the morality of their cause. To further complicate matters, a chain of events leads Annie to the brink of personal disaster. Only the intervention of a Union officer can save Annie from what appears to be destruction. Can she overcome her hatred of the Yankee invaders to accept the help that will save her? Readers with an interest in historical fiction and the Civil War era will enjoy finding the answer to this question when they complete this story. Written with an eye toward historical accuracy, the novel tells the sad story of the divisions and loss that were inherent in America’s bloodiest war. Yet, despite the sadness that permeates the pages of this novel, the author also creates a strong female character in Annie Sinclair. In the person of Annie, readers will learn about both the Civil War in Virginia and one girl’s journey to young womanhood. 2004, Katherine Tegen Books, $15.99. Ages 12 up.

Mary Quattlebaum (Children's Literature)
Annie, Between the States chronicles the tumultuous Civil War, not through the eyes of a soldier but from the point of view of a young woman facing tough choices. Staunchly supportive of her home state of Virginia, Annie Sinclair applauds her brothers' soldiering for the Confederate cause. She shelters wounded Southerners, spies for the cause and despises all things Northern--until the day she meets Thomas Walker, an injured Union officer. Annie's grudging respect for this "enemy" and events, such as the Confederate capture of two freed family slaves, force her to question her loyalty. Penned by local author L. M. Elliott, this novel should prove especially compelling for National Women's History Month. 2004, HarperCollins, $15.99. Ages 12 up.

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2004 (Vol. 72, No. 20))
A third of the major battles of the Civil War took place in Virginia. The last state to leave the Union and the state with the most residents voting against secession, Virginia, ironically, suffered most from the horrors of the war. Elliott's novel opens with the Battle of Manassas and a sea of confusion as Union troops retreat across the property of 15-year-old Annie Sinclair. By the end of the war, Annie's home and all of her relationships have changed irrevocably. Battle scenes are so powerfully drawn that readers will be engaged from chapter one. Though history lessons sometimes intrude on the narrative, Elliott does an admirable job of balancing the human story and the historical context. Her excellent author's note fills in the complicated history of the era, and the bibliography includes a fair number of resources for young readers. A rich experience for Civil War history buffs. (timeline) 2004, HarperCollins, 496p, $15.99. Category: Fiction. Ages 12 up. © 2004 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

Delia Culberson (VOYA, February 2005 (Vol. 27, No. 6))
Fifteen-year-old Annie Sinclair leads a typically sheltered, decorous life in her ancestral Northern Virginia home, Hickory Heights, until the Civil War wreaks havoc through her beloved land and turns her life upside down. Annie is a likeable, brave heroine who endures countless ordeals and runs grave risks to keep her family together, protect their property, and help Confederate troops whenever possible. Confederate Army General Jeb Stuart playfully dubs her "Lady Liberty" in admiration for her courageous ride to warn him and his men of an impending attack by Union troops. Despite her fierce loyalty to the Southern cause and the Confederate Army where her two brothers also serve, Annie finds herself deeply attracted to a handsome young Union officer-an emotion that poses a heart-wrenching quandary for the young woman. To complicate matters even further, she eventually incurs the open enmity of Union forces for her role in the daring rescue of two young female slaves captured by Northern soldiers, a selfless gesture that ultimately lands Annie in a Federal prison. Against a background of authentic events peopled with true historic figures, Annie and her contemporaries are brought to life in this compelling book that, because of its length and often stilted dialogues, might appeal only to the most avid history buff. The author's note, time line, and bibliography are particularly enlightening and reflect Elliott's careful, thorough research. The result is high quality historical fiction that highlights a most important and decisive period in American history. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, HarperCollins, 496p.; Biblio. Chronology., $15.99 and PLB $16.89. Ages 12 to 18.


Patriotism Fiction.
Slavery Fiction.
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 Juvenile fiction.
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 Fiction.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 Fiction.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.E453 An 2004
2003024941 [Fic]
0060012129 (lib. bdg.)
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