Thursday, December 3, 2009

Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown

It’s near the end of the war, and rumors of emancipation are swirling. Eleven-year-old Luke decides to run away to freedom and join the Union Army. But he doesn’t find the Yankee troops he was hoping for. Instead, he finds nine-year-old Daylily, lost in the woods after suffering an unspeakable tragedy. Her master set her free, but freedom so far has her scared and alone. Also lost in the woods is seven-year-old Caswell, the son of a plantation owner. He was only trying to find his Mamadear after the Yankees burned their house with all their fine things. He wanted to be brave. But alone in the woods with two slave children, he quickly loses all his courage, and comes to greatly depend upon his new friends. In the chaos and violence that follows, the three unrelated children discover a bond in each other stronger than family

Black Angels is a touching, war-torn journey of three children who are thrown together during the final battles of the American Civil War.

I have read quite a few books about the Civil War and its stories still continue to amaze me. Black Angels is one of the more "hard-core", if you will, books I've read about this subject because it carries the weight of young perspectives and a whole lot of gritty truth. Not only were Will, Daylily, and Caswell lost and alone, they faced things that many adults may not have ever had to go through. I think I liked this book because of it's vividness and honesty. If you don't have those things, you don't have a truthful story. Life was harsh back then and Brown did a fascinating job on capturing not only with the terrible battle scenes and struggles, but the language of the characters as well. I felt, even though Will (the oldest character in the book) is only eleven, his voice will hold an older reader's attention as well as someone as young as himself; and although the old timey language may put some off, I still think it's a great addition to the story and the character's personalities.
The only thing that I happen to dislike about Civil War era books is that they describe the Civil War as being about acceptance and freeing slaves. The Civil War was not about the slaves, it was about power and money--black slaves were just part of the bargain. I didn't much care for the ending either because it just stopped with Will, Daylily, and Caswell seeing each other again for the first time in ten years. I would have liked to find out what happened to them, but I guess Brown left that up to your imagination.
With that said, Black Angels is still a honest and breath taking story about the Civil War. I would recommend to tweens and young adults who like history or just a good timeless tale of courage and hope.

Linda Beatrice Brown is a professor of Humanities and holds the Willa B. Player Chair in the Humanities at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Crossing Over Jordan; Black Angels is her first novel for young readers.

|Pages: 258|Year Published: Sept. 2009|Publisher: Putnam|
|Genre: Historical fiction, Civil War, 1800s, adventure|
|Age Group: Ages 11+|
|Content: Some sensuality and some graphic details of gore|
|Enjoyed It: 4/5|Content Rating: 4/5|Cover: 4/5|


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails