Another delightful tale from Mattie Richardson, straight from the horse's mouth! This one follows Tucker and Shiloh, two young horses during the American Civil War.
Young readers will certainly enjoy this story and learn a thing or two about American History while they're at it! Meticulous research promises historical accuracy in the facts spread throughout this book, and yet the end of the story will leave readers asking for more.
...The CRACK of the cannon and the Pop! of rifles...the screeching of the Rebels and yells of the Federal Soldiers are all sounds that can be heard through the fog of blue smoke... When people think about the Civil War, they tend to think that they've heard it all before. But maybe we haven't. How much do you know about the Border Wars? The women that fought in the Civil War? The homes and towns that were burned in the name of protecting people? The horses that fought just as bravely as the men? The Elephant that so many young soldiers were excited to see? Tucker and Shiloh are two young horses that were separated at the beginning of the Civil War. Though they are brothers, they are as different as day and night. But they are devastated when they are torn apart. One is sold to the US Army, while the other finds his place with a young Confederate soldier yearning for adventure. Both horses will learn so much about the Civil War and its effect on the land and the people. But will the brothers ever see each other again? More importantly, will they survive the struggle that claimed more than 600,000 souls? Both sides claim to be fighting for freedom. Only one side can win.
Day and Night (Physical Copy)
"I’m an avid reader of children’s books, and was delighted to discover Richardson’s Night and Day. The book follows two horses, separated brothers, through the camps and battles of the Civil War. Night and Day was at times evocative of that great classic horse book, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, especially when the horses speak about the hardships they encounter. The story of Shiloh’s punishment by a man who has no business training a horse reminded me of some of Black Beauty’s painful moments.
The voices of the horses, Tucker and Shiloh, plain spoken and direct, bring the reader close to the story. I enjoyed seeing history from the animal’s point of view. There is a wonderful section where the horse is learning the bugle calls for marching and charging. I would have loved to see more of this. The reader gets a sense of how untrained both the horses and humans were, and how quickly they were thrown from the most basic training straight into the danger of battle.
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT.
The book covers some interesting territory involving women who served in the military during the Civil War. I don’t feel I can say more without possibly spoiling the book for readers, but I have always found this piece of history intriguing and enjoyed that part of the story.
The author has obviously done a lot of research. The book is a great way for kids to learn something about the Civil War. I live in NYC, but grew up in the South. This book has a lot of information about the western states, something I knew less about. The book made me want to learn more about the border skirmishes. I knew the “Bloody Kansas” basics, but it was nice to learn while enjoying this very engaging story.
The book also took me back to my childhood. I went through a “horse girl” phase, and Night and Day took me back to happy memories of some of those books, like Misty of Chincoteague and The Black Stallion. Night and Day would fit happily on the same bookshelf, along with other books of historical fiction for children told by animals, like Ben and Me, or Mr. Revere and I. Grade schoolers should enjoy meeting Tucker and Shiloh. I know I did."
"North Dakota's Teen Author" has turned out a very entertaining juvenile novel about the Civil War's first year. As a long-time student of the Civil War and author of "Horses and Mules in the Civil War," I was very pleasantly surprised to find the book so historically accurate. Yes, there is some "literary license" but it is minimal and explained in an afterword by the author. Scenes of the Battle of Pea Ridge and Shiloh are correctly described, the confusion and divisions over the war along Missouri's western border is depicted with understanding, and the experience of two horses in the war is presented in a believable manner. The young lady admirably did her research well. The narrators of the novel are two horses, one Union and one Confederate, but the two principal human characters are also developed well.. Throughout the characters are presented in a believable manner and with feeling. Entertaining for an adult reader, this book will be a great read for young audiences!"