My Dear Phebe
By Janet Elaine Smith
Pagefree Publishing - October 2001
ISBN 1930252404 -  Trade Paperback
Children / Fiction
Ages 9-12

Reviewed by: Beverly J. Rowe, MyShelf.Com
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The story of Phebe Irvine, a ten year old who lives in Upper Michigan during the Civil War, shows how the war affected everyone, not just the people who lived in the South.  The inspiration for this story was a batch of real letters exchanged between a young girl and her uncle during the Civil War, and these letters are in the back of the book.

Caleb Tuttle, the father of Phebe's best friend Sarah, is called to the war.  Several months pass without word from Caleb. The families are very concerned about his lack of communication, fearing the worst.  A family of slaves from Tennessee comes to the Tuttle home. They have news from Caleb and news of the war.  They move into the Tuttle's tiny woodshed to wait out the war.

This book is very well written with lovable characters suffering the realities of a country at war with itself.  The brutality of slavery is shown through the eyes of the slaves as they tell the story of their captivity and escape and of traveling on the "Underground Railroad", the route that slaves used to escape to the North.

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