Children's Literature Reviews for Teaching History

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Rebel Hart

Title: Rebel Hart   
Authors: Edith Morris Hemingway and Jacqueline Shields
Category: Historical Fiction
Topic: The Civil War 
Grade Level: 6 and 7
Students: A balanced mix of strong readers and struggling or reluctant readers   
Rating by: Caroline Starr Rose
Caroline has her own middle grade historical novel-in-verse, May B. coming out in Spring 2012.  Her website is:

Historically Accurate?
(4) Yes and also includes historical notes, primary sources, etc.
(3) Yes
(2) A few inaccurate or misleading portrayals
(1) Not a bit

An Engaging Story?
(4) Almost all students will beg to keep reading
(3) Most students will get caught up in the story
(2) Some students will read ahead by mistake
(1) Students will groan when the book is mentioned

Prompts Discussion?
(4) Students will still be talking about it in the hallway
(3) Will prompt discussion about major issues in the past as well as today
(2) Will prompt discussion about the characters and the events in the book
(1) Will not prompt discussion

(4) Everyone - even the most reluctant readers – can get on board
(3) Can be used for a whole class read
(2) Can only be used with a small high-powered reading group
(1) Recommend only to students that love reading

Age Appropriate Content?
____Too mature
_X__Just right
____Too simplistic

A Comment from Caroline Starr Rose: 
I used REBEL HART for my after-school historical fiction book club. My readers were motivated sixth and seventh graders already required to read historical novels for my class. Students were given the opportunity to read this novel and use it for their assignment. Those interested could come to the after-school book club and earn extra credit.

Amazon's Product Description:
Sixteen year-old Rebel guide and spy, Nancy Hart, left home to join a group of Rebel raiders. Nancy's struggle for survival during the Civil War changed her from an impulsive girl to a strong young woman. Her story is a mixture of fact and folklore, documented by both old newspapers and an intriguing Civil War photograph.

Link to Reviews on Amazon
Link to the website of the author: Edith Morris Hemingway with discussion questions for teachers
Buy this book from your local bookstore via Indie Bound

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