Regularly, I post a book review on my blog. Recently, I've begun reviewing books from my school library for a column in the school newsletter. I read and review the usual elementary grade reading level books, and occasionally stumble across a true gem of a read.
Published in 2003, The River Between Us by Richard Peck is one of the most riveting stories about the Civil War I've read outside of Gone With the Wind.
As the story opens, we are traveling in a Model T-Ford in the year 1916 with a young boy, his brothers, and his father to visit relatives. When they reach the home of Aunt Tilly, Peck takes the reader to the Pruitt farm in Illinois where a young Tilly and her family take in two mysterious southern ladies. When Tilly's brother goes to war, she and Delphine, one of their guests head to Cairo, Illinois to bring her brother home. What transpires there and back in the year 1916, kept me riveted to the pages. Peck sheds a whole new light on bigotry and racism and pride in one's family tree.
This may have been a "Young Adult" novel, but The River Between Us can hold it's own with any book I've read intended for more "mature" readers.