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The Footrace That Ended the Civil War

by Ken Stark and illustrated by Ken Stark

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-24212-0
Publisher: Putnam

From April 3 through April 9, 1865, the last important battles of the Civil War were fought as the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia fled from Petersburg and Richmond, followed closely by the Army of the Potomac, which trapped them at Appomattox. Day by day, Stark charts the race between the troops of the fleeing General Robert E. Lee and his pursuer, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, and the ultimate surrender. Realistic paintings in watercolor, gouache and casein depict a determined but rumpled and muddy Grant, enthusiastic boys in blue, both black and white, and exhausted Confederates in grey led by the handsome, sharply dressed Lee. An opening map that shows the location of each major battle introduces a clear narrative that is detailed enough to make this chapter in American history come alive. Excerpts from correspondence between the two generals and chapter-opening lines from participants add authenticity. The bibliography represents the author’s research but does not, unfortunately, include titles for further investigation by young readers. This flaw notwithstanding, fine fare for young history buffs. (afterword) (Nonfiction. 8-11)