Hear the Wind Blow by Mary Downing Hahn is set here in the Shenandoah Valley. On a cold, snowy night, Haswell Magruder makes a decision that will have a profound effect on his own life as well as the lives of all those he loves. A wounded Confederate soldier appears at the family’s Virginia farm, and Haswell convinces his mother and sister to take the man in, despite the certain repercussions if the enemy Yankees were to catch them in such a “traitorous” act. Unfortunately, this is precisely what happens, setting off a horrific chain of events that leaves Haswell’s mother dead and the farmhouse burned to the ground.
After leading his younger sister to safety with relatives in Winchester, Haswell sets out on his journey in search of his older brother, a Confederate soldier. His quest is also a passage into manhood, as he experiences the last bloody days of the Civil War.
If you enjoy Civil War stories set in Virginia, you might like the following books in the TAHS Library collection.
A Day to Pick Your Own Cotton (Book 2)
The Color of Your Skin A'nit the Color of Your Heart (Book 3)
Together Is All We Need (Book 4)
Too Deep for Words (Book 2)
Blood Family by Anne Fine tells the tragic story of a smart, sweet child poisoned by circumstance as he struggles to escape the horrors of his childhood.
Eddie and his mother Lucy are locked away by her abusive, alcoholic partner Harris. For three years, his only connection to the outside world is a collection of old video tapes of a "Mr. Rogers-like" character. At age seven, Eddie and his mother are rescued, but his mother has literally been beaten senseless and Eddie is terrified that Harris will find him. Eddie seems to do well with his kind foster parents and is eventually adopted by a nice couple with another adopted child, Alice. Then on a school science trip, Eddie sees something that sends him spiraling out of control.
Interview with renowned novelist, Carnegie Medal winner, and former Children's Laureate Anne Fine.
Student-made book trailer
If you are interested in other stories of child abuse, foster care, adoption, and mental health, you might like to try the following books from the TAHS Library:
I am a former high school English teacher and now a high school librarian.