THE BRAVEST GIRL
White Mane Kids
"...a lovely, poignant story."
— School Library Journal
"Kathleen Ernst provides a vividly drawn story against a meticulously researched historical background that will raptly engage young readers from first page to last."
— Midwest Book Review
"A fine book written by a talented writer who has also produced an outstanding account of civilians at Antietam for adult readers."
— The Citizens Companion
The Bravest Girl in Sharpsburg is the second of Kathleen's twenty-five published books. It is written for readers ages 11 to adult who enjoy American Civil War historical fiction without any sex, gore, or explicit violence. This book is available as a 225-page trade paperback.
The daring adventures of Teresa Kretzer and Savilla Miller earned them the title of "the bravest girls in Sharpsburg" and the admiration of Teresa's shy younger sister, Elizabeth. But as the Civil War looms, they become political enemies. When the fighting comes to Sharpsburg, each girl finds new meanings of courage, friendship, loss, and love amidst the Battle of Antietam.
This book contains a period map, photos, and illustrations, and an author's note about the actual people and events the story is based on.
What Others Are Saying
"Kathleen Ernst explores the nature of courage in The Bravest Girl In Sharpsburg. She centers her story around what has been called the bloodiest day in American history-September 17, 1862 when the people of Sharpsburg, Maryland found themselves embroiled forever in the Civil War.
Told alternately in the voices of sisters Bethie and Teresa Kretzer, whose family sympathies lie with the Union, and their friend Savilla Miller, whose family is for the Confederacy, it begins when seamstress Teresa fashions a magnificent version of the stars and stripes and sends the banner waving over the town's main street, in defiance of her neighbors' neutral or South leaning politics. It ends in all three girls' involvement in the war as Lee's army crosses the Potomac and into their lives.
Along the way, Kathleen Ernst's skill and compassionate heart invites lucky readers into a world of threads binding sisters and brothers and friends, where a blacksmith farmer introduces his boldest daughter with "she's got sand" , where women get "belled up" for festivities one day and scrap their knuckles bloody as they turn heirloom damask tablecloths into lint for bandages, another. Savilla, Bethie, Teresa and their kinswomen feed grateful soldiers who are "skinny as stray dogs in winter," act as Confederate spies, are courted by a pacifist and men of both sides of the conflict, and assist conductors on the Underground Railroad.
Ernst adds a unique new chapter to Civil War stories, giving voice to the usually voiceless casualties of that conflict: a wide-eyed boy killed by a mob when he was on the wrong road at the wrong time, the fleeing widowed refugees fearing reprisals against themselves and their children, the soldiers and civilians downed by fever, accidents, or their own comrades, and the citizens of Sharpsburg who endured the shelling of that infamous day.
Through it all, this powerful novel brings the painful choices of a border state dramatically to life. In Author's Notes both fine scholarship and honor and affection for the people and events on which the novel is based are in evidence. And who was the bravest girl in Sharpsburg? Kathleen Ernst has wisely left that up to her young readers to decide."
—Eileen Charbonneau, Author of Honor to the Hills
"In this historical novel, three young women experience the Civil War firsthand. Teresa Kretzer and Savilla Miller are best friends until their differing political viewpoints end their friendship. Teresa is a fierce supporter of the Union, while Savilla's sympathies lie with the secessionists. When the Confederate Army literally marches through their hometown of Sharpsburg, MD, the girls are vaulted into the midst of battle. They cope with bombardment and disease, and eventually mend their friendship.
The story is told through the shifting points of view of Savilla, Teresa, and her younger sister, Bethie. All of the characters are well drawn. Scattered throughout are historical photographs of the real Sharpsburg, which adds to the atmosphere of the novel. It's unfortunate that the cover is so unattractive. Once beyond it, though, readers will find a lovely, poignant story."
—The School Library Journal
"The author has done considerable work and research...The details concerning the way of life, houses, dress, chores, are excellent and will give young readers a good picture of family life during the period. The description of the shelling of Sharpsburg and the aftermath, including graphic field hospital scenes, are also excellent.
There is a touch of romance which will appeal to the girls, but shouldn't turn off boy readers. The author treats each family equally, but shows the challenges they faced and the impact their beliefs caused in their lives. This is...an interesting and realistic story of the Civil War."
—The Civil War Courier
Best selling author Kathleen Ernst writes mysteries and historical fiction for adults and young readers. Her work has earned numerous honors, including multiple Edgar and Agatha mystery award nominations, and an Emmy for children's educational programming. To date, Kathleen's 25 published books have sold well over 750,000 copies. more>>
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Enjoy the author's insights about the story, characters, and settings.
|A powerful and poignant tribute to Civil War soldiers takes place each December on the rolling hills near Sharpsburg, Maryland... more>>|
|The first novel I ever wrote, The Other Side of the Line, was set during the American Civil War. I was fifteen, growing up in the border state of Maryland, and already long fascinated by... more>>|
This book marks the only time I used real people as main characters in one of my novels. Theresa and Beth Kretzer, and Savilla Miller, grew up just two houses apart in the small town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. When the Civil War began, the Kretzers supported the Union and the Millers supported the Confederacy. You’ll meet all three girls in the book. And…who was the bravest girl in Sharpsburg? After you finish the novel, you can decide who should claim the title. I’ve enjoyed listening to readers discuss that question when I visit schools and libraries.
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Aaron Kretzer, Ages 10 and Up, Alexander Root, American Civil War, American Flag, American History, Amos Hicklin, Angry Mob, Anne Kretzer, An Understanding, Army of Northern Virginia, Army of the Potomac, Army Surgeons, Arrested, Arsonists, Auntie Mae, Barter, Battle of Antietam Creek, Battle of Sharpsburg, Battle of South Mountain, Bethie, Bible, Blanc Mange Custard, Blackford Family, Blacksmith Shop, Bloodiest Day, Bloody Diarrhea, Bobby McPherson, Boiling Mad, Bookish, Books, Boonesboro Maryland, Brave Boys Are They! Song, Bravest Girl, Brining Family, Butternut Homespun, By Crackers, Candle Lantern, Cannon Ball, Castor Oil, Cellar, Chamomille Tea, Chattered Like Magpies, Christian Household, Christ Reformed Church, Civilians, Clara Brining, Cock Fight, Communicating Without Words, Confederacy, Confederate Flag, Confederate Soldiers, Confederate Sympathizer, Consarned, Cornbread, Crimus Almighty, Cross The River, Crotchy, Dangerous Business, Dead Soldiers, Defensive War, Delaney's Tavern, DeWitt Clinton Rench, Dishonor, Disrespectful Girl, Dis-Unionists, Doctor Augustin Biggs, Dunker, Dunker Church, Easily Excitable, Elizabeth Kretzer, Enlist, Escaped Slaves, Ferry Hill Maryland, Fiction, Fire Company, Fitzgerald, Foraging, Forged Pass, Frederick County Maryland, Frederick Maryland, Free Negroes, Fruit Shrub, Fry The Devil, Game of Jackknife, Gawk, General Robert E Lee, General Thomas Jackson, Gideon Brummer, Give 'em Hades, Gobbled Up, Godey's Lady's Book, Got Sand, Grades 6 to 9, Grand Adventure, Grit, Grove Family, Gumption, Gunnison's Store, Gussie Rohrbach, Hagerstown Female Seminary, Hagerstown Maryland, Hagerstown Pike, Harpers Ferry Virginia, Hart Family, Headstrong, Henry Kyd Douglas, Hiram, Historical Fiction, History, Hot-Tempered, Impertinent, Jacob McGraw, Jacob Miller, Jacob Nicodemus Farm, Jeanette Blackford, Jennie Mumma, Jiggers!, Joe Hebb, Joe Hoffmaster, John Kretzer, Joseph McGraw, Kathleen Ernst, Keedysville Maryland, Kretzer Family, Kretzer House, Leesburg Virginia, Like A Plague Of Locusts, Look Beyond Flags And Parades, Lower Than A Slug's Belly, Lucilla McClintock, Lutheran Bible, Lye Soap, Made My Skin Prickle, Mad Enough To Spit, Maggie Hart, Magic Lantern Show, Major Heros Von Borcke, Mangy, Margaret Kretzer, Maria Teresa Kretzer, Martial Law, Maryland Militia, Maryland My Maryland Song, McClintock Family, McGraw Family, Medical Corps, Miller Family, Miller Farm, Miller House, Millinery Business, Miss Elizabeth Carney's Insufferable School For Boring Young Ladies, Miss Headstrong, Mourning Dress, Mrs Collins, Mrs Kittering, Mrs McClintock, Mrs McGraw, Mrs Sutherland, Mrs Ward, Mr Rubins, Moses Cox, Mother Of God!, Mumma's Farm, Murdered, Nervy, Numb, Oh Stars!, Oil of Vitriol, Pacifists, Opium, Papa, Patriot, Pennsylvania, Pickled Cherries, Playing Draughts, Plumb Shocked, Portable Forge, Potomac Home Guard Brigade, Potomac River, Prankster, President Lincoln, Prickly Mood, Provost Guard, Purcell Battery, Quinine, Ready To Scamper, Rebels, Rebel Soldiers, Recruiting Office, Relief Packages, Republicans, Retreat, Reverend McClintock, Rheumatism, Rhubarb Pie, Rohrbach Family, Rowdies, Rumpus, Running The Blockade, Samuel Miller, Savilla Miller, September 17, 1862, Seventh Wisconsin, Sharpsburg German Reform Church, Sharpsburg Luthern Church, Sharpsburg Maryland, Shelling, Shepherdstown Road, Short-Tempered, Sickel-Moon, Sing Like A Bird, Skedaddle, Skittered, Slavery, Slave State, Smuggling, Sniffed It Out, Southern States, South Mountain Maryland, Spy, Squabble Like Roosters, Stephen Kretzer, Strutting Around Like A Sunrise Cock, Stubborn, Sulk, Susan Kretzer, Taylor's Landing Road, Tempers Are Pulling Thin, The First Gun Is Fired! May God Protect The Right Song, The Quivers, Therese Kretzer, Thunderation, Timothy McClintock, Tin Of Lucifers, Traveling Book Peddler, Typhus, Uncle Bob, Underground Railroad, Underpinnings, Unearthly Quiet, Union, Union Party, Union Soldiers, Unnerving, Unrequited Love, Virginia, Virginia Snakeroot, Washington County Maryland, Weaseling Coward, Western Maryland, Whipped, Whooping And Roaring, Widow Himebough's Place, William Logan, Williamsport Ledger Newspaper, Williamsport Maryland, White Mane Kids, Worried Sick, Woven Scrap-Limb Fence, 1861, 1862, 23,000 Casualties