Hearts of Stone by Kathleen Ernst

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When her father goes off to join the Yankee troops, fourteen-year-old Hannah fears her family will be torn apart by the Civil War. But nothing prepares her for her mother's sudden death. Hannah now finds herself responsible for keeping the young family together in a world where even her best friend, Ben, sympathizes with the Confederacy. On a long and dangerous journey from Cumberland Mountain to Nashville, Tennessee, in search of their only living relative, Hannah and her brother and sisters come to realize the true meaning of family and hope. This is a beautifully crafted novel about the tragedy of war and the power of love even in the toughest of times.

About Kathleen Ernst

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Kathleen Ernst received a degree in forestry from West Virginia University. Before becoming a full time writer in 2004, she worked at an outdoor living history museum called Old World Wisconsin for 12 years and as a television writer. Her first published historical fiction novels were The Night Riders of Harpers Ferry and The Bravest Girl in Sharpsburg. She has also written numerous American Girl novels including 6 books about Caroline Abbott published in 2012. Her other works include Hearts of Stone, the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series, and the nonfiction book Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign. Robert Papp says he's one lucky guy. "Every day I wake up and get to play with paint!" Ever since his first gallery showing on his family's refrigerator, he has been creating appetizing artwork. Nowadays his paintings appear in the pages of children's books instead, which he finds perfect since kids are the best audience an artist can ever have. Robert lives with his artist wife, Lisa, and their orange cat in historic Bucks County Pennsylvania, and if you ever visit, you might still find a painting or two stuck to the refrigerator.
Published October 19, 2006 by Dutton Children's. 268 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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Ernst’s memorable tale demonstrates in vivid detail how wars affect women and children, and Hattie’s stubbornness does indeed help to keep her family together and her dream of returning to Cumberland Mountain alive.

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I also felt really bad for Hannah, because the Civil War did put friends against friends and family members against family members.

Jan 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Hearts of Stone

Youth Services Book Review

Most keenly realized is Hannahs attempts to understand why her Pa left (she asks dozens of soldiers why they joined up, hoping for meaning in their sea of varying reasons) and her struggle against forces that pull her family apart and set her neighbors against each other.

Feb 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Hearts of Stone

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