- Caroline Parr
Meet authors Michael Hemphill and Sam Riddleburger tomorrow at 10:00 as they bring their wacky senses of humor to the Headquarters Library. Kids ten and up will love their story about Stonewall Hinkleman, a typical twelve-year-old boy whose parents are ardent Civil War re-enactors. This means that every weekend he’s dragged (his word) to another Civil War battle site. His father reveres an ancestor, Cyrus Hinkleman, who fought and died in the war, despite the fact that, as Stonewall puts it, “He was shot in the butt… Which can only mean one thing. He was running away when he was shot.” Dressed in a scratchy wool uniform and dragging a bugle that he barely knows how to play, Stonewall sulks around wishing he could play his Game Boy.
But when a mysterious sutler lends him a battered bugle, Stonewall puts it to his lips and finds himself back in time at the real Battle of Bull Run, with real soldiers, real guns and real bullets. The Shakespeare-quoting young soldier he meets turns out to be his ancestor, and he’s far from the coward Stonewall has imagined him to be. Not only that, but a crazy re-enactor who thinks the South should have won shows up back in time, too, and starts doing his best to change history.
A fast pace, plenty of action, and snappy dialogue move the story right along. Despite the abundant humor, the book also deals with racism and history in a way that allows kids to appreciate the complexities of the time.
Co-sponsored by Jabberwocky Children's Books, which will have books available for sale and signing by the authors.