ANNA SUNDAY by Sally M. Keehn


Age Range: 10 - 14
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Twelve-year-old Anna and her nine-year-old brother Jed set off from their Pennsylvania farm in 1863 to find their soldier father, who has been wounded in the first Battle of Winchester, Virginia. They’ve received word that he’s not expected to survive, but they must risk danger crossing Rebel lines to take him some herbal medicines, their love, and foods that Anna knows will restore him. Anna is in special peril because she is female, but she cuts her hair and wears boy’s clothing. One of the most interesting characters is the “Bible horse,” Samson, who obeys only biblical verse commands and is especially encouraged when people sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The children meet good people and bad and have many adventures (possibly too many) as they travel from their Pennsylvania home, near Gettysburg, through Maryland, and into Virginia, where they find their father being tended by the Confederate Mrs. McDowell. Anna and Jed must discard some long-held notions about the character of people—bad if Rebels, good if Unionists—and especially Southern women, whom they believe are she-devils. The children find that stereotypes don’t hold true even when they are prisoners of war in Virginia, some Confederate soldiers are cruel and some are not. Even Mrs. McDowell, good person that she is when she ministers to her patient and shelters the children, is not to be fully trusted. Facts about the war are interwoven and the often-fraught-with-peril journey concludes in a satisfying manner. (map, author’s note, selected bibliography) (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-23875-1
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2002


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