cover image Gentle Annie: The True Story of a Civil War Nurse

Gentle Annie: The True Story of a Civil War Nurse

Mary Francis Shura. Scholastic, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-44367-8

The late author ( The Search for Grissi ; The Sunday Doll ; The Josie Gambit ) carefully interweaves historical fact with fiction to create the enticing biography of Anna Blair Etheridge. Courageous and independent Annie enlists with the Union Army in 1861, just before her 17th birthday. She and the other girls are assigned to cook, clean and sew; however, when their regiment is sent into battle, they all flee--except for Annie. She becomes a nurse for the regiment, tending to soldiers in the hospitals and on the front lines. Exhausted, Annie devotes four years of her life to nursing, and her undaunted spirit inspires hundreds of soldiers to defend their country until the bloody Civil War comes to an end. Through Shura's potent, concise narrative, readers will gain an understanding of this important conflict and a deep admiration for one of its valiant, lesser-known participants. Ages 8-14. (Feb.)