By Pat Hughes
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374328115, 336pp.
Publication Date: March 31, 2009
The Civil War in Missouri
In 1863, at fifteen, Matt Howard is old enough to join the Southern guerrillas and help protect Missouri from Union forces. But Matt would rather farm than fight – tending his beloved pa's land is the next best thing to having him still alive. What’s more, to safeguard her six children, Matt’s mother insists that the family take a neutral position. In Missouri's Civil War, which pits neighbor against neighbor, armed men often bang on doors in the middle of the night, shouting "Union or Secesh?" The wrong answer can get a civilian killed.
Matt’s mother is from the North, and when Ma decides to move them back, Matt is torn: Should he abandon his farm or his family? And what about his friend Jesse, who has no doubts about joining the guerrillas? What will Jesse say if Matt runs away? In this large, gripping examination of the Civil War in Missouri, a boy bewildered by the madness around him wrestles with questions about family ties, friendship, and loyalty. Guerrilla Season is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
"Hughes's strong Civil War novel depicts the plight of families caught between warring neighbors...a compelling story about courage and sacrifice...History buffs will appreciate Hughes's accurate detailing of the events and moods of a tumultuous time." --Publishers Weekly