Like a River By Kathy Cannon Wiechman

Like a River

A Civil War Novel


Published by (2015-04-07)

Winner of the Grateful American Book Prize

This moving story of two young Union soldiers “joins other great middle grade novels about the Civil War”—an “excellent” read “for all fans of historical fiction who enjoy a hint of romance.” (School Library Journal)

Leander and Polly are two teenage Union soldiers who carry deep, dangerous secrets . . . Leander is underage when he enlists; Polly follows her father into war, disguised as his son. Soon, the war proves life changing for both as they survive incredible odds. Leander struggles to be accepted as a man and loses his arm. Polly mourns the death of her father, endures Andersonville Prison, and narrowly escapes the Sultana steamboat disaster. As the lives of these young, brave soldiers intersect, each finds a wealth of courage and learns about the importance of loyalty, family, and love.
Like a River is a lyrical atmospheric first novel told in two voices. Readers will be transported to the homes, waterways, camps, hospitals, and prisons of the Civil–War era. They will also see themselves in the universal themes of dealing with parents, friendships, bullying, failure, and young love.

Book Details

Format: Hardcover
Price: 24.99 CAD / 18.99 USD
Published: 2015-04-07
ISBN: 9781629792095
Page Count: 336
Trim Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/4

★ “Wiechman’s abundant research is unobtrusively folded into the tale. An excellent author’s note provides further information about the times. Though the horrors of Andersonville and various Civil War-era events such as the Battle of Atlanta, Lincoln’s assassination and the explosion of the steamboat Sultana provide wartime context, it’s the secrets woven into the well-paced tale that will pull readers eagerly to the tearful conclusion. A superb Civil War tale of friendship, loyalty and what it means to be a man.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Wiechman delivers a realistic portrayal of the gritty details of prison camp conditions as Paul witnesses many soldiers succumb to infected wounds, disease, and malnutrition . . . The book has strong merit as accurate historical fiction.” Publishers Weekly

“The rich language and artful imagery will stay with readers long after finishing the last page . . . This joins other great middle grade novels about the Civil War . . . A truly excellent first purchase for all fans of historical fiction who enjoy a hint of romance.” School Library Journal

“A war story, a thriller, a romance . . . Meticulously researched and brilliantly written, Like a River will transport you into a story you won’t want to end. Call Like a River unforgettable. A stunning debut!” —Jerry Spinelli, Newbery Medalist for Maniac Magee
“Brings to light and life a little-known slice of the Civil War. It’s an unflinching look at a rough and bloody time, but . . . love and hope flow throughout. I will be thinking about Leander and his comrades for a long time to come.” —Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor Medalist for Hattie Big Sky