At the end of the Civil War, twelve-year-old Will, having lost all his immediate family, reluctantly leaves his city home to live in the Virginia countryside with his aunt and the uncle he considers a "traitor" because he refused to take part in the war.
On May 15, 1864, teenage students at the Virginia Military Institute left their desks and dormitories to join the field at the Battle of New Market alongside seasoned Confederate forces. Their cadet corps suffered a casualty rate of 24% while helping to successfully drive back a numerically superior Union force.
More than two hundred years ago, two thousand people lived in the town of Williamsburg, Virginia. This book tells you what it was like to grow up in colonial days, before there was a United States of America.
Lemuel Chenoweth is a shy western Virginia furniture maker with only a third-grade education and a vision when he heads to Richmond, Virginia, to enter a bridge-designing contest. Lemuel stuns the judges and the highfalutin' competition by assembling an extraordinary bridge model-one that can support his own weight-and he wins. Built entirely without nails, his bridge became one of the most famous in the country and was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War.
From the publisher's description.
When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully -- the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.