Title: We Were There at the Battle of GettysburgWe Were There at the Battle of Gettysburg
Author: Alida Sims Malkus
Illustrator: Leonard Vosburgh
Pages: 176
Recommended Ages: 8-12
Star Rating: ★★★★

The first book I have read in the We Were There series.

The Story.

They’re coming – Yanks and Rebs alike. All of them are pouring into Johnny Blayne’s home city: Gettysburg. They’re coming from every direction. And they’re coming for one reason and one reason only – they’re coming to fight!

Johnny is excited and a little bit scared. Will his friends be hurt? What about his family and their farm? Will they be destroyed in this cataclysmic battle?

Discussion.

Can I say first off how much I love children’s stories that focus in on a historical event and make their characters live and breathe the circumstances that make life today what it is? Because I do love them. This book, We Were There at the Battle of Gettysburg, is from a broader series (the We Were There Series) and its concept, story style, and illustrations were marvelous. Not only does Johnny experience the Battle of Gettysburg, but so do we.

However, I feel as though I can’t fully review this book. Why you ask? Because two pages were missing from the story. And those two pages were crucial to any review anybody could ever write of this book; they were the pages where Grandpa Blayne explained why the Confederates were wrong to believe they had the right to secede.

I strongly suspect that the pages were ripped out of the book by some lovely Tennessean patriot who found his blood raised. But that doesn’t make me feel any better about the situation. What did Grandpa say on those two pages? Was it actually a pretty good argument? Is that why my previous reader did his ripping? Or was it so horrible that its very inefficiency caused said ripping? I’ll never know.

Conclusion. This book definitely had a Unionist lean to it, but I can’t say exactly how detailed the subject was treated due to the missing pages.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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