ANNA SUNDAY

Sally M. Keehn, Author . Philomel $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-399-23875-8

In 1863, as the Civil War rages, Anna Sunday, a motherless 12-year-old disguised as a boy, bravely sets out with her younger brother from her Pennsylvania home into Rebel territory to find their father, a Union soldier who has been shot. They travel with only their cousin's old horse, Samson, who responds to commands given in Biblical verse (to get the horse to move, they shout, "Love thy neighbor"). Along the way they meet and are helped by a traveling sutler and the son of a freed slave; at last, they reach the Virginia house where a feisty older woman is lovingly tending to their Pa, even though she is a Rebel (Anna and Jed expect her to be a "she-devil"). Anna and Jed begin to help nurse their father back to health but are whisked away as Lee's army approaches, and they experience life in a Union fort and a Confederate prison before finally returning home. As in her previous novels (I Am Regina; Moon of Two Dark Horses), Keehn draws on historical episodes to shape an involved tale that is at least plausible if not always fully believable (such as when Anna physically attacks thieves and guards). She does not flinch from descriptions of dying soldiers and the fetid conditions of prison life. Frequent twists and turns in the plot, along with the camouflaged heroine's coming of age, will likely hold readers' interest. Ages 10-14. (May)

Reviewed on: 06/17/2002
Release date: 05/01/2002
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-86705-4
Prebound-Glued - 266 pages - 978-0-7569-4067-6
Paperback - 266 pages - 978-0-14-240026-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-29657-1
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