Tillie Pierce by Tanya Anderson
I love when authors focus on the people of history and not just the dry facts. I was excited to read Tillie Pierce because it focused on someone who witnessed one of the most famous battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, instead of re-hashing the same old historical facts everyone’s heard since elementary school history.
For those of you who may not know who Tillie Pierce is, let me introduce you. During the Civil War, she was a teenager who had lived in Gettysburg her whole life. She was attending the Young Ladies Seminary finishing school when the battle began and witnessed everything.
Tanya Anderson transports readers back to the 1860s as she opens up and describes Tillie’s life in a little crossroads town and how she ended up in the heart of the battle and be forever changed. The book does a great job of setting up the battle, explaining how it made its way to Pennsylvania and how a teenager felt with the war surrounding her. Tillie ends up closer to war then she ever believed she would be and Anderson relates so many layers of war with the emotions and creates a real picture of how the war affected those closest to it.
Anderson also utilizes parts of Tillie’s own book, At Gettysburg, Or What a Girl Saw and Heard of the Battle: A True Narrative to enhance the story and connect with the modern reader.
I hope after reading this book, Tillie’s story becomes better known, especially as she was an eyewitness to this battle. Add this title to your collection as a great read for teens looking for a new take on the Civil War, possibly for an essay or other homework assignment. Hopefully they’ll find a new heroine they weren’t expecting.
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