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Reviewed by Kristie Ingerto for Readers' Favorite
Beverly Stowe McClure has written a treasure for young adults that will enhance their knowledge of the Civil War and transport them back in time. "Caves, Cannons and Crinolines" is written from the perspective of fourteen year-old Lizzie who is growing up during a scary time as the Civil War is taking place around her, tearing apart her family and destroying her home. Lizzie's older brothers are fighting in the Confederate Army and her father is the town father so that he is working long hours caring for the sick townspeople and also injured soldiers. The fighting and having to live in a cave while her world is being completely changed angers Lizzie and she decides to take matters into her own hands. However, this is not as easy as dressing as a boy and going by the name "Eli" and fighting in the army as Lizzie thought would be the answer to the problem. Meeting a wounded Yankee soldier and bringing him home to be cared for makes Lizzie wonder if her thoughts and views are correct. During this unsettling time, Lizzie and her family are living in fear, yet they must keep their pride strong and also continue to be there for each other.
This is a well-written historical fiction that brings this time period alive for young readers. There are historical details throughout the story and the descriptions and language will transport the reader to Mississippi and the midst of the Civil War. Although this story takes place years ago, the characters struggle with similar thoughts and feelings as the reader does today, which brings the characters to life and the reader will laugh and cry along with Lizzie and her family. This book is a great read for not only young adults, but older adults as well!