MOON OVER TENNESSEE by Craig Crist-Evans


A Boy's Civil War Journal
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Crist-Evans pens a series of poignant poems that are the journal entries of a 13-year-old who accompanies his father to fight in the Civil War. They leave their beloved farm in Tennessee and join Confederate forces on their way to Gettysburg. At home in Silver Bluff, Tennessee, are his mother and sister; his best friend is John, who is black and is not allowed to go in the school, so listens at the window and draws letters in the dirt. The voice of the boy is simple, direct, haunting; he is excited to see General Lee and tells his father, “You should have seen them riding . . . it was like a dance, and no one missed a step.” His father only nods, and “I know his mind is somewhere/off in Tennessee, dreaming of the corn in even rows.” That man will never see Tennessee again, for on July 4, 1863, he is killed at Gettysburg. The boy carves his daddy’s name into a tree and begins the long ride home. Exquisite, somber black-and-white woodcut illustrations accompany the poems; the images are often as lyrical as the text. (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-395-91208-3
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1999