Author: Keith, Harold
Reading Grade: 8
Winner of the Newbery Medal * An ALA Notable Children’s Book * Winner of the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
A captivating and richly detailed novel about one young soldier who saw the Civil War from both sides and lived to tell the tale.
Earnest, plain-spoken sixteen-year-old Jeff Bussey has finally gotten his father’s consent to join the Union volunteers. It’s 1861 in Linn County, Kansas, and Jeff is eager to fight for the North before the war is over, which he’s sure will be soon.
But weeks turn to months, the marches through fields and woods prove endless, hunger and exhaustion seem to take up permanent residence in Jeff’s bones, and he learns what it really means to fight in battle—and to lose friends. When he finds himself among enemy troops, he’ll have to put his life on the line to advance the Union cause.
Thoroughly researched and based on firsthand accounts, Rifles for Watie “should hold a place with the best Civil War fiction for young people” (The Horn Book).