cover image Here & Then

Here & Then

George Ella Lyon, Lyon. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (114pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06866-3

Joining her history-buff parents for a weekend reenactment of the Civil War at Camp Robinson, Ky., seventh-grader Abby ``gets into character'' by keeping a journal for Eliza, the 40-year-old nurse she is to portray. The past intertwines with the present when Abby realizes her writing is being guided by the restless spirit of her character-dead nearly 80 years-who sends an urgent message to bring more supplies forthe wounded soldiers. With the help of a skeptical but loyal friend, Abby collects blankets, bandages and medicine, and transports them back in time. While much of the book, particularly the girls' door-to-door solicitation of money for their cause, is infused with tongue-in-cheek humor, Abby's journey to another century proves to be poignant as well as eerie. Compelling if not altogether meaty, Lyon's (Red Rover, Red Rover; Borrowed Children) slim novel about ghostly encounters and transfigurations quite literally brings history to life. Ages 10-12. (Oct.)