The Last Full Measure by Ann Rinaldi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As Confederate and Union soldiers take over their town, the local residents can do little more than hunker down in their homes while cannon and gunfire explode around them. But the battles are not only fought between soldiers. At home, fourteen-year-old Tacy and her disabled brother lock horns as David struggles with his desire to go to war. He has strong principles, and it tortures him to allow others to fight while he does nothing.
In the aftermath of this great and terrible battle, in which so many soldiers sacrifice their lives for their beliefs, David gives his last full measure…and leaves Tacy struggling to make sense out of it all.
Description from GoodReads.
Tacy is fourteen and living through the historic events in Gettysburg during the Civil War. Her father is a DR. and two of her brother's are soldiers in the Union Army. She is home with her mother and older brother David, he has a twisted leg from an accident and cannot enlist in the war.
David and Tacy struggle to make peace with their circumstances. David feels like a failure and wishes that he could be serving in the war. Tacy wishes she had her kind brother back, instead of the stern and strict person he has become trying to control her.
Rinaldi did a wonderful job at telling Tacy's story. She described the horror of fighting in the streets, sleeping in the cellar because you don't want to be upstairs in case your roof is shelled. Having rebel soldiers enter your home demanding food, stealing horses, etc.
One point that she made that I really liked is there is a place in the story where rebel soldiers are eating in their kitchen, and they see Tacy's best friend, Marvelous. Marvelous is black. They ask if Marvelous is free or a slave. Tacy states that Marvelous is free and the soldiers threaten to take her away to the South to be forced into slavery. Tacy pleads with them and tells them that Marvelous is her best friend and that is why they cannot take her. One of the soldiers says that he has lost friends to the war and that Tacy can keep her friend. He wants her to remember that not all of the Southern soldiers are bad people.
The story is sad. War is sad. Rinaldi did a great job in pulling this story together. I would say that this is Historical Fiction at its finest. This book is appropriate for all reading audiences.
I received a copy of this book to review from NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my honest thoughts and feelings.