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Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is the story of one girl and her family’s day-to-day struggle to survive a changing way of life during the War Between the States.
I have always found it amazing how people can take an entire book and reduce it to a few simple words. What I have trouble with is how do you convey all the subtle nuances that make the book come alive? Take the above description for example.
Caves, Cannons and Crinolines is told from the viewpoint of Lizzie, who watches as the Civil War changes all she finds steady and true in her world. We follow Lizzie as not only the outside world is changed, but her inner being as well. We feel her fear as she dons boy's clothing and faces war first-hand and we struggle from crying when the war takes from her someone precious. As we read, Beverly Stowe McClure literally takes us back to what it is like to be fourteen. While many of us forget as we grow older, Ms. McClure has held onto that part of herself and writes purely from the perspective of Lizzie' she does not allow her adult self to enter at all, which is very rare indeed.
This book packs a lot between its covers--laughter, pain, fear, anger, and most of all emotional growth that can only come from experience. I applaud Beverly McClure for being able to convey so many subtle messages to her audience, without once sounding as though she's teaching, or preaching. This book is sure to become a favorite part of any girl's library and I imagine many boys will secretly find it among theirs as well. (Secretly because I don't think many young boys will willingly be seen reading a book with crinolines in the title!). To be able to craft a book that appeals to both boys and girls of this age is yet another rare accomplishment that Ms. McClure has achieved. You will never see war the same again once you finish this book.
Caves, Cannons and Crinolines rates a solid six colors on the Rainbow Scale!