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Girl in Blue


Girl in Blue Cover

ISBN13: 9780439676465
ISBN10: 0439676460
Condition: Standard
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Publisher Comments:

From acclaimed QUILT TRILOGY author Ann Rinaldi comes another gripping historical adventure. Here, a courageous girl disguises herself as a boy and fights in the Civil War.

The year is 1861. When spirited teenager Sarah Louisa learns that she is to be married off to her despicable neighbor, she runs away from home. Disguising herself as a boy, Sarah boldly joins the army--and before long is a soldier in the Civil War. Sarah navigates the joys and hardships of army life, all the while struggling to keep her true identity a secret. But Sarah's real adventure is only just beginning. A chance encounter with a detective soon draws her into a web of mystery, intrigue, and romance--and Sarah's courage will be put to the test as never before.


As a teen, Sarah Wheelock has vowed never to let a man control her. With this conviction, she leaves her life on a Michigan farm, disguises herself as a boy, and fights in the Civil War.

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Home School Book Review, February 2, 2013 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
It is 1861 and Sarah Louisa Wheelock, age fifteen, lives on a farm near Casey’s Mill, MI, with her father, mother, sister Betsy, and brother Ben. Her older sister Clarice is married. She has learned to hunt and ride better than any boy. Their abusive father, who beats both Sarah and her mother, plans to wed Sarah to their odious neighbor, Ezekiel Kunkle, who is a widower with two children. So she runs away, dresses as a boy named Neddie Compton, and joins the Union Army. As Neddy Sarah is sent to Washington, DC, but after the first Battle of Bull Run she is discovered. However, obviously being good at disguising herself and acting a part, she is recruited by Allan Pinkerton to serve as a maid in the home of the notorious Southern spy Rose Greenhow to help with surveillance and see if she can find out how Rose is sending messages. She begins to fall in love with Lt. Sheldon, head of the surveillance team, but then has reason to believe that he might be a traitor. Will her position be compromised so that she is found out again? And what should she do about Sheldon?

How weird is this! I obtain different books from different sources at different times and in different places and then put them in different piles to be read on different occasions. So the books that I am reading at any particular point are the result of happenstance. Back in 2011, I picked up some young people’s Civil War fiction books while visiting in Gettysburg, one of which, No Girls Allowed by Alan Kay, is a completely fictional account of a girl who dresses as a boy to fight in the Union Army. I just recently started reading it, but before I finished it, I began another book entitled A Soldier’s Secret by Marissa Moss which had been sent to me early in 2012 by the publisher for review and is a fictionalized account of the life of Sarah Edmonds who dressed as a boy to fight in the Union Army. Then before I finished that, I began reading Rinaldi’s book which I had actually first seen in a 2006 Scholastic Book catalogue and then bought later in 2012 at Wilson’s Creek
Naional Battlefield Park near Springfield, MO. Rinaldi writes, “While Sarah Wheelock is a character of my own invention, I have based her somewhat on ‘Franklin Thompson,’ the male alias for Sarah Emma Edmonds, one of the most famous male soldier impersonators in the Civil War.” There is enough similarity so that having read A Soldier’s Secret I was immediately able to recognize the resemblances, but Rinaldi’s story is much more fictionalized, with changed names and many plot differences.

Girl in Blue is well written and easy to read. It has fewer objectionable elements than Moss’s book, omitting the euphemistic sexual references to male anatomy. However, while it is listed for ages eight and above, the “d” and “h” words are both used occasionally, the terms “God” and “Lord” are sometimes found as interjections, there are several instances of drinking beer, whiskey, and wine, and a few of the fighting scenes are a little intense with some gory detail. Therefore, I would recommend it for ages twelve and above. Rinaldi writes concerning the real Sarah Edmonds, “Her tenure in the army was longer than my Sarah’s, and she never served with the Pinkerton detective agency,” and said, “I have invented all the rest of the characters, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, General McClellan, Doctor Hammond, Allan Pinkerton and his operatives, and Rose Greenhow and the women spies incarcerated with her at Fort Greenhow.” While a couple of reader reviewers felt that the novel doesn't measure up to other Ann Rinaldi books and is not her best work, they still agreed that it is a suspenseful historical fiction story with a bit of adventure and a dash of romance. Amelia's War is another Civil War historical by Rinaldi.
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Product Details

Rinaldi, Ann
Scholastic Paperbacks
Girls & Women
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - History
Family - Multigenerational
Sex role
Historical - United States - Civil War
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-
Children s-Reference Family and Genealogy
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Quilt Trilogy
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
6.75 x 4.19 in
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 19th Century
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Young Adult » General

Girl in Blue Used Mass Market
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Product details 320 pages Scholastic - English 9780439676465 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , As a teen, Sarah Wheelock has vowed never to let a man control her. With this conviction, she leaves her life on a Michigan farm, disguises herself as a boy, and fights in the Civil War.
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