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Leigh Ann's Civil War

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Leigh Ann Conners is spunky and determined. Although she often finds herself in trouble, she loves her two older brothers dearly and would do anything to make them proud. When the Yankees arrive in Roswell, Georgia, Leigh Ann places a French flag upon the family’s mill. She hopes the Yankees will then spare the mill from destruction, but her actions have disastrous results. Leigh Ann Conners is spunky and determined. Although she often finds herself in trouble, she loves her two older brothers dearly and would do anything to make them proud. When the Yankees arrive in Roswell, Georgia, Leigh Ann places a French flag upon the family’s mill. She hopes the Yankees will then spare the mill from destruction, but her actions have disastrous results. Sent north with the women and children who worked in the mill—all branded traitors for making fabric for Confederate uniforms—Leigh Ann embarks on a journey that requires her to find her own inner strength. Only then will she be able to rise above the war raging around her.


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Leigh Ann Conners is spunky and determined. Although she often finds herself in trouble, she loves her two older brothers dearly and would do anything to make them proud. When the Yankees arrive in Roswell, Georgia, Leigh Ann places a French flag upon the family’s mill. She hopes the Yankees will then spare the mill from destruction, but her actions have disastrous results. Leigh Ann Conners is spunky and determined. Although she often finds herself in trouble, she loves her two older brothers dearly and would do anything to make them proud. When the Yankees arrive in Roswell, Georgia, Leigh Ann places a French flag upon the family’s mill. She hopes the Yankees will then spare the mill from destruction, but her actions have disastrous results. Sent north with the women and children who worked in the mill—all branded traitors for making fabric for Confederate uniforms—Leigh Ann embarks on a journey that requires her to find her own inner strength. Only then will she be able to rise above the war raging around her.

30 review for Leigh Ann's Civil War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com Ann Rinaldi has added to her amazing collection of historical fiction. LEIGH ANN'S CIVIL WAR focuses on a family in the Confederate South battling not only the nation's Civil War, but also their own family's inner problems. Leigh Ann has been raised by her two older brothers since she was about four years old. Their mother, who claims she was never meant to be a mother, took off, leaving the children with her husband. At first he was Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com Ann Rinaldi has added to her amazing collection of historical fiction. LEIGH ANN'S CIVIL WAR focuses on a family in the Confederate South battling not only the nation's Civil War, but also their own family's inner problems. Leigh Ann has been raised by her two older brothers since she was about four years old. Their mother, who claims she was never meant to be a mother, took off, leaving the children with her husband. At first he was busy running the family-owned textile mill, but then he fell ill and the responsibilities of the mill and running the family went to his sons, Teddy and Louis. Now that the war has begun, responsibility has increased yet again. The two brothers head off to battle, but soon return when one is injured and the other is needed to keep the family business from falling into northern hands. Being the youngest, Leigh Ann has escaped a lot of the family tension, but as the Yankees get closer and closer to their plantation, family turmoil escalates. With her father now unable to take care of even his own personal needs, papers have been filed declaring her oldest brother, Teddy, to be her legal guardian. However, her mother sees it as an opportunity to step back into the family to lay claim to whatever she can. With the Civil War as the backdrop for the story, readers are able to watch history unfold as well as what happens within Leigh Ann's family. An older sister is secretly married while visiting her soldier boyfriend, and she returns pregnant. Tension increases in older brother Teddy's marriage as he spends more and more time keeping the mill running. Despite a crippling war injury, Louis is elected mayor and takes on the responsibility of running the town. All the while, Leigh Ann tries to behave as a good southern girl should, but her desire to help her family often causes her to step beyond the boundaries set by her brothers. In this new release Ann Rinaldi highlights the South's struggle to hang on to their way of life as war crept closer and after the Yankees took control. She artfully reveals this one family and its efforts to survive and protect their own during dangerous times.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Leigh Ann Conners was eleven years old in the spring of 1861, when the Civil War began. Living on a plantation in Georgia where her family operated a cotton mill, Leigh Ann had an unusual family life. Her father was unwell and her mother had left the family, leaving her to mainly be raised by her older brothers. This led to the headstrong young girl often having conflicts with her strict older brothers. The war changes everything, however, as over the next three years Leigh Ann must cope with he Leigh Ann Conners was eleven years old in the spring of 1861, when the Civil War began. Living on a plantation in Georgia where her family operated a cotton mill, Leigh Ann had an unusual family life. Her father was unwell and her mother had left the family, leaving her to mainly be raised by her older brothers. This led to the headstrong young girl often having conflicts with her strict older brothers. The war changes everything, however, as over the next three years Leigh Ann must cope with her brothers fighting in a war that is increasingly creeping closer to home. Three years later, in 1864, the Union Army led by General Sherman arrives in Georgia. Because the family uses the mill to produce cloth for the Confederate army, they are considered enemies of the Union. Leigh Ann's attempts to help only cause further disaster. The mill is burned, and Leigh Ann, her sister, and the other female mill workers are captured and sent north. Because the family uses the mill to produce cloth for the Confederate army, they are considered enemies by the Union army when it arrives in Georgia in 1864. Leigh Ann's attempts to help only cause further disaster. The mill is burned, and Leigh Ann, her sister, and the other female mill workers are captured and sent north. These events force Leigh Ann to grow up and mature as she faces danger and hardship. Leigh Ann's Civil War was overall an enjoyable historical fiction read. Ann Rinaldi, as she always does in her historical novels, has taken an event from history and brought it to life. The novel is based on the true story of the female mill workers captured by the Union army, a little-known event from the Civil War that I hadn't known about before reading this book. There were a couple of things I found a bit problematic, however - Leigh Ann's dysfunctional family history was a bit of a distraction at time from the main story of her experiences during the war, and there were some magical elements thrown in that didn't really make a lot of sense. While it was not my favorite book by Ann Rinaldi, I would still recommend Leigh Ann's Civil War to young adult readers who enjoyed other books by Ann Rinaldi or who like historical fiction set during the Civil War.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Salerni

    This was a strange book, and not at all what I was expecting. The prologue turned me off so much I put the book aside for a couple weeks and had to force myself back to it. It wasn’t until Chapt 5 that I really became interested in the characters and the story, although I began to enjoy it after that point. The prologue hammered me with too many characters and a situation so complex that it confused me to no end. I rather wish the author had not used it as a prologue, but simply inserted it chron This was a strange book, and not at all what I was expecting. The prologue turned me off so much I put the book aside for a couple weeks and had to force myself back to it. It wasn’t until Chapt 5 that I really became interested in the characters and the story, although I began to enjoy it after that point. The prologue hammered me with too many characters and a situation so complex that it confused me to no end. I rather wish the author had not used it as a prologue, but simply inserted it chronologically in the plot where it belonged. The first couple chapters continued in the same vein, offering expository dialogue that seemed designed to explain the family to the reader. I would rather have had the narrator explain it directly than give it to us in difficult-to-believe dialogue. And Leigh Ann did have a strange family situation: She was half-Cherokee, although she didn’t know it. Her father was slowly succumbing to dementia, and her mother had abandoned the family years ago for a succession of flings with powerful/rich men. Leigh Ann was raised by her older siblings Louis, Teddy, and Viola. The father, while still living, had little authority in the house, and the harridan of a mother showed up periodically to berate her children and hit them with a riding crop (which she carries in almost every scene). Add to all of this the Civil War, the arrest of the mill-workers by the Northern army, an illicit plan to ransom the mill-owner’s wife and sisters back to him, Leigh Ann masquerading as a boy for part of the novel, and a mystical owl sent by Leigh Ann’s brother – and you have an awful lot of stuff for one 300 page novel. I did care about these characters, but I wish the author had either left out some of these plot strands … or written a longer book that did them all justice.

  4. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Leigh Ann Connors is 11 years old when her home state of Georgia secedes from the Union. Leigh Ann doesn't understand what's happening. She is content with her life as a spoiled mill owner's daughter. Her older brothers have brought her up while her father slowly goes mad from business worries and her mother, a Yankee, "carries on" with other men. The only African-Americans she knows are the few house servants who spoil her and the distant field hands who are all treated with courtesy and friend Leigh Ann Connors is 11 years old when her home state of Georgia secedes from the Union. Leigh Ann doesn't understand what's happening. She is content with her life as a spoiled mill owner's daughter. Her older brothers have brought her up while her father slowly goes mad from business worries and her mother, a Yankee, "carries on" with other men. The only African-Americans she knows are the few house servants who spoil her and the distant field hands who are all treated with courtesy and friendship. When her brothers, Teddy and Louis, head off to fight for the Confederacy, family secrets are revealed and Leigh Ann begins to grow up. As Sherman's troops march to the sea, the Conners family fear for their mill and Leigh Ann tries to thwart the Yankees and win back her estranged brother's affection. Her mother, with the power of a Yankee officer, stands in the way and has all the women and children connected with the mill arrested, including Leigh Ann, her sister and sister-in-law. During the journey from Roswell to Marietta, Leigh Ann summons her courage and bury the spoiled child she was before the war in order to save her family. This story combines history with a bit of American-Indian and African-American beliefs to successful create a page-turning novel. However, none of the characters are developed well enough to make them likable. They are all pretty much stock characters used in Rinaldi's other recent novels. This book doesn't have the same depth or detail that make Rinaldi's early novels so wonderful and memorable, but it's worth a read for fans (ages 12-14) of the Civil War period.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Wade

    I read the book Leigh Ann's Civil war by Ann Rinaldi. The main characters in this book are Leigh Ann, Luis, Teddy, Violet and Carol. This book is about a family during the Civil War. The main settings of this book are at the Mill and their home. The family run into many problems throughout the book including Teddy and Luis going to war and being injured. Another event that happens is Leigh Ann putting a flag on the mill they own to keep it safe, then the Yankees invade and everyone working on t I read the book Leigh Ann's Civil war by Ann Rinaldi. The main characters in this book are Leigh Ann, Luis, Teddy, Violet and Carol. This book is about a family during the Civil War. The main settings of this book are at the Mill and their home. The family run into many problems throughout the book including Teddy and Luis going to war and being injured. Another event that happens is Leigh Ann putting a flag on the mill they own to keep it safe, then the Yankees invade and everyone working on the mill has to be arrested and Leigh Ann put the flag on the roof so she was supposed to go to jail. But her brother Teddy would not allow that so the general gave Leigh Ann a choice. She could dress like a boy and become a bummer and return to her brothers, or she could go to a school to be like a Yankee and go to her mother. Leigh Ann' mother is not the best person alive. She kidnapped Leigh when the boys were at war. Leigh Ann's mother also shut the mill down and ruined it. Leigh Ann chose to be a bummer and her and her sisters were sent away. They worked for a little while until Leigh Ann found a way to get back to her brothers. I really liked the storyline of this book and I fell in love with the characters. I enjoyed every part of this book and could not put it down. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. I definitely recommend this book to people who want to know a little more about the Civil War because, it has really good information.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I didn't like this book as well as some other Ann Rinaldi books but it was still good. A young girl during the Civil War is arrested by the Yankees for working at a mill that made cloth for Confederate uniforms. A deal is made by her family to work as a "bummer" instead of being brought to a prison in the North. The girl's personal life is even more tense and unhappy because of her family make up. Her father is a Cherokee who suffers from intense discrimination though he became a successful mill I didn't like this book as well as some other Ann Rinaldi books but it was still good. A young girl during the Civil War is arrested by the Yankees for working at a mill that made cloth for Confederate uniforms. A deal is made by her family to work as a "bummer" instead of being brought to a prison in the North. The girl's personal life is even more tense and unhappy because of her family make up. Her father is a Cherokee who suffers from intense discrimination though he became a successful mill owner. Her mother is a white woman many consider a whore and who left the family when she was 4. The woman lives in the area and torments her daughter while her two older brothers are soldiers in the Confederate army. The rest of the family struggles with war, children and the chaos of war life. A fateful attempt to place a French flag on the roof of the mill and replace a Confederate flag causes the workers to be accused of a conspiracy according to Sherman's troops which leads to their arrests. Geared toward teenage readers but contains a lot of information and history I was unaware of. The author is a bit more open with hints of sexuality though there are not sex scenes, etc. She doesn't hide that people are sexual.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jackie♡

    I've always loved historical fiction, however the civil war era is new to me. That may be why this book didn't appeal to me very much. Anyways, it took me a good while to get into this book. I found it was confusing to remember all the characters and events mentioned, but most of them didn't come up again so I didn't really bother. The prologue really turned me off. I was so confused with what was happening in it, that I skipped to chapter one. Later in the story, I realized it was a scene that I've always loved historical fiction, however the civil war era is new to me. That may be why this book didn't appeal to me very much. Anyways, it took me a good while to get into this book. I found it was confusing to remember all the characters and events mentioned, but most of them didn't come up again so I didn't really bother. The prologue really turned me off. I was so confused with what was happening in it, that I skipped to chapter one. Later in the story, I realized it was a scene that was cut out of the book. I think it would be much better if Rinaldi just put the scene in where it belonged. It would have a much better reaction that way. The ending also deeply disturbed me. I was simply reading the page, and I truly wanted to know what would take place next, and I was greeted with the epilogue. Not very satisfying. I'm not going to give up on civil war era books because of this one though. This would appeal much more to an avid historical reader. It was interesting though I have to say, the characters were very realistic. I appreciate her writing talent and how much work and research this book took to write based on her bibliography. I might revisit this book once I get into the swing of this genre some more.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This is an historical fiction novel that is very well researched. It's an engaging story about a southern girl who was just 11 years old when the Civil War started. It's written from her viewpoint. It taught me some things about the Civil War that I didn't know. For instance, I had never heard about "bummers". As the Yankee troops traveled through the south, destroying it before Sherman's march, they scrounged for food and supplies. The ones sent ahead to commandeer provisions were called bummer This is an historical fiction novel that is very well researched. It's an engaging story about a southern girl who was just 11 years old when the Civil War started. It's written from her viewpoint. It taught me some things about the Civil War that I didn't know. For instance, I had never heard about "bummers". As the Yankee troops traveled through the south, destroying it before Sherman's march, they scrounged for food and supplies. The ones sent ahead to commandeer provisions were called bummers. Leigh Ann, dressed as a boy, is forced to be a bummer. Leigh Ann has an unusual southern family. Her father, who is becoming senile, runs the local cloth mill. He is a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, a little known fact. Her mother is a Yankee woman who is vindictive and has a penchant for other men. She abandoned her husband and children when Leigh Ann was 4 and Leigh Ann's older brother, Teddy, is her guardian. Her mother actually brings danger to her family from the Yankees. Leigh Ann has a penchant for mischief and keeps the family on their toes. I have enjoyed all the books I've read that were written by Ann Rinaldi. Her characters are always very real.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    I liked this book, but certain things in this book were really weird, and that bugged me. The strange things helped to make the book more interesting, but near the end it got to a point where it was too much. All the characters were very different, and I can't really say I loved them, some of them were very strange, but I got used to it. The prologue of this book threw me off. It would have been much better if the prologue was just one of the chapters in the book. It was too confusing at the fron I liked this book, but certain things in this book were really weird, and that bugged me. The strange things helped to make the book more interesting, but near the end it got to a point where it was too much. All the characters were very different, and I can't really say I loved them, some of them were very strange, but I got used to it. The prologue of this book threw me off. It would have been much better if the prologue was just one of the chapters in the book. It was too confusing at the front of the book, I had to go back and read most of it over again to understand what was happening. I loved the fact that this book took place in the civil war, and I did enjoy reading it once I was about halfway into it. I almost want to rate it 3.5 stars, but I can't get over the strange stuff about the characters, and I hated the fact that there was a lot of cussing. Overall this was an okay book and it had great information about the civil war.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love all of the books that Ann Rinaldi writes. Leigh Ann's Civil War was a good book,but it wasn't one of my favorites. I wish the author would have picked a older child to be the main character. It was a little annoying when Leigh Ann kept getting into trouble and wasn't being punished that much for what she did. Some of the things she did, she should been punished more for them. I wish the author would have made her stay at her mother's longer than just half of the day. This book didn't real I love all of the books that Ann Rinaldi writes. Leigh Ann's Civil War was a good book,but it wasn't one of my favorites. I wish the author would have picked a older child to be the main character. It was a little annoying when Leigh Ann kept getting into trouble and wasn't being punished that much for what she did. Some of the things she did, she should been punished more for them. I wish the author would have made her stay at her mother's longer than just half of the day. This book didn't really talk about the battles of the Civil War. It was mostly about the Rowell town and southern families who lived there.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    In 8th grade, my English class was forced to read a work of historical fiction set around the time of the Civil War. I chose this book in a hurry, but was pleasantly surprised when I got it home and actually began reading it. I thought it was going to be all long-winded description with no dialogue or true character development, but I was wrong. It goes in-depth into the story of a little girl's bravery in hard times. It's been a while since I last read it, but I do remember how much I loved it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Madison Herron

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The beginning was a bit confusing. I didn't understand what I was reading. I had to re-read it a couple of times, but once I realized what the author was trying to say it was great from there. I wish the ending would have continued on a bit longer. I felt that it stopped to soon and could of used more details on how the family's life was after she was captured.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathrine Whitfield

    In this book, Leigh Ann is taken care of by her brothers Teddy and Louis. She faces many challenges including her mom coming to try to take her away. Leigh Ann is a 14-year-old or a 12-year-old in this story. She is trying to find a way for Carol, Viola, and herself to go home. She is also a bummer to try and convince the Mulehound's brother to let them free to go home.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    3.5/5 I read an electronic edition of this book. I do not know if that impacted my enjoyment of the book or not. While I enjoyed the book, at times I felt like the story was a bit confusing. This will not deter me from reading others of Ann Rinadli as I enjoy historical fiction.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I really liked the book and the story. I love historical fiction, I can be educated and have fun reading at the same time. My complaint of this book is the ending. I felt the author left you hanging at the end and what she did finish with felt rushed and unsatisfying.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    The whole book was rather silly to be honest. Any problem was somehow solved by Indian heritage, but in actual writing, it seemed like magical nonsense in a book of historical fiction.

  17. 5 out of 5

    C.

    I really liked this book because: 1. It had a good cast of characters 2. The story shed light on what it was like to live in the midst of a horrible war 3. It is set in one of my favorite eras

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Skordas

    One of my favorite books in middle school. Great historical fiction with very good character development

  19. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    Civil War times from the perspective of a family from Roswell, GA, where the mill was burned and women and children were sent north for the crime of working there. Good story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    A very good read, thoroughly enjoyed the characters and historical aspect of this book. I'm surprised its juvenile fiction bc it was a bit heavy I thought for a younger crowd.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carol Hahn

    This Rinaldi book did present a different perspective of the Civil War. I found it a little harder to follow than some of Rinaldi's work.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Leigh Ann' character is strong and brave for a young girl. At times, I thought Leigh Ann to be a young Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Team Jem

    this was the first ann rinaldi book I ever read and I loves it. It made me wish I had an older brother soooo bad!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    2.5

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Keilah

  27. 4 out of 5

    books

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Weeks

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alissa

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