YA Review: Ann Rinaldi’s “My Vicksburg”

I recently came across the short novel “My Vicksburg” at the library. I hadn’t read it, so of course I had to take it out. This novel tells the story of 14-year-old Claire Louise Corbett, as her family lives out the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Claire Louise’s father is a doctor gone to fight with the South under Robert E. Lee. Her older brother, Landon, has joined the Union forces as a doctor. Meanwhile, she, her mother, and her little brother are forced to live in a cave with their family servants while the town is under attack. When Landon returns to them with a wounded Southern soldier that he is caring for and must turn over the authorities, Claire Louise must decide where her loyalties lie, and what she can do to help her family, Robert, and herself.

I really enjoyed this short novel. I had no idea that some of the people of Vicksburg actually lived in local caves during that time of the Civil War. I found this quite fascinating. Claire Louise’s character is boldly drawn and the reader feels connected with her. Her struggles with family loyalty and pride in her home state are clearly drawn. What I found resonates most in this novel is its portrayal of relationships: between Claire Louise and her parents, and between Claire Louise and her brothers, especially Landon.

You can find this book at your local library — I did!

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