Good characterizations are the highlight of this thoughtful Reconstruction era story. After the deaths of his entire family during the Civil War, Will, 12, is taken from his Shenandoah home to his uncle in the Virginia Piedmont. The proud son of a Confederate officer who was killed in battle, Will resents his new home, chiefly because he can't forgive his uncle for remaining neutral during the war. As he makes the difficult adjustment from city boy to farm worker, Will tends to blame everything on the Yankees; but eventually, thanks to his growing respect for his uncle and his friendship with ten-year-old cousin Megan, he begins to see the other side. Believable characters and well-placed incident keep the reader going here (despite Will's endless stubbornness), and a good feel for time and place makes his story memorable.