This historical fiction novel by the Newbury award winning author Irene Hunt helps to reveal the pain and suffering of the civil war as seen by a young boy trapped in the conflict. This novel is a coming of age tale for Jethro Creighton, who is a smart and resourceful boy that lives in Southern Illinois. Jeth experiences the pain of having his loved ones put in danger when his older brothers, cousin, and school teacher join the Union and confederate armies. This book successfully describes many of the emotions that come from years of war, as well as some of the themes that include love, loyalty, and determination. It also allows a window into a world that is very different from the one we know today.