A couple of months ago I had the opportunity of meeting local author, Margo L. Dill, and I was introduced to her middle-grade novel, Finding My Place. I was delighted to read a local author’s work and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with my readers. Do you remember when you were first introduced to historical fiction? How old were you? Grab a cuppa and let’s chat!
I’m a child of the 1980’s so my introduction was through the American Girl characters, Karen Cushman’s novels and later, the Dear America series and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. Gosh, I think I might have been thirteen myself when I read GWTW.
Anyone who’s seen the Victor Fleming film knows how graphic and grisly the Civil War was. Vicksburg was no exception to this and Anna visits a war hospital set up in a former residence. I was curious how Dill would approach writing this for a children’s novel and I was pleasantly surprised.
Although Anna is shielded from the grislier elements, there is still the feel of a hospital — the blood, the screams, the uncleanliness. This is not Sara Crewe’s walk through the hospital.
I recently visited a Civil War hospital during my trip south and I have a much better understanding now of how they operated out of someone’s home. Dill does a great job of representing the atmosphere without making it too scary for a younger audience.
Dill’s debut novel brings to life the traumatic experiences of war in a relatable way for children to grasp. Dill also includes educational resources for parents and teachers to use for discussion. I’d especially recommend this book to homeschooling families and parents whose children will be studying the Civil War in this fall’s curriculum.