In this brilliant, fictional tour de force, Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman recreates the early days of the Civil War with startling immediacy, giving voice to 16 different narrators, Northern and Southern, male and female, young and old, white and black. Each point of view is strikingly different, and utterly believable. Among the protagonists, Toby Boyce, an 11-year-old from Georgia, teaches himself to play the fife, hoping that will get him to the front. Lily Malloy, a Minnesota farm girl, waits for letters from her beloved brother, who has run away to join the Union Army. Told that "Negroes" are not allowed to fight at the front, light-skinned Gideon Adams "passes" for white and signs up anyway. Carlotta King, a slave accompanying her master to war, resolves to flee north at the earliest opportunity.
Bull Run, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award, can be read as a novel, but its straightforward monologues lend themselves to staged performance or readers' theater. A marvelous resource for extending units on the Civil War, this stunning book offers a broad range of discussion possibilities. It also puts forth the universal lesson that there are often more than two sides to any story told; there can be as many accounts as there are witnesses.