Preparing for a Virginia Journey Part 4: Ages 13+

by: Kristi Zolandz

This is the last of a four part series covering books and other resources for kids as they prepare for their journey through Virginia's rich history and nature.  This part is focused on young adults ages thirteen and older.


Other Age Groups:

Part 1: Ages 0-4

Part 2: Ages 5-8

Part 3: Ages 9-12


Virginia’s General: Robert E. Lee and the Civil War, by Albert Marrin

Virginia’s General is a thoughtful narrative of Robert E. Lee’s life, focusing strongly on his time as the leader of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Marrin portrays Lee as a thoughtful, caring man who was a true Southern Gentleman for whom the ideas of loyalty and honor were foremost in his mind.  Older readers will be interested in Lee’s struggle between his beliefs (Lee was opposed to slavery and secession) and his loyalty to Virginia, which opted to join the seceding Confederate States of America.   Readers will come away from this book with a better sense of who Lee was, not only as a great military strategist and leader, but also as a person with strong beliefs and thoughtful action.


Sarah's GroundSarah’s Ground, by Ann Rinaldi

Sarah Tracy has just moved to Mount Vernon at the outbreak of the Civil War.  Hired as the caretaker of Mount Vernon, Sarah must continue to restore George Washington’s beloved home on the Potomac while trying to protect it from two armies waging war all around.  Loosely based on a true story, Sarah’s Ground explores what it was like to live as a young woman during the Civil War.  It is easy to identify with Sarah’s trials as she strives to protect Mount Vernon and learn who she truly is.


It Happened in VirginiaIt Happened in Virginia, by Emilee Hines

This fun book provides vignettes into some of Virginia’s more interesting historical events.  From rebellions to spies to traitors, to Stonewall Jackson’s left arm, your child will be entertained and amused by the stories in this book.  It Happened in Virginia can be read straight through or can be read as individual short stories relevant to where you are visiting with your child.  However your child reads it, he will be sure to learn something new and interesting about Virginia from its earliest days straight through to the 21st century.


The Civil WarThe Civil War, a film by Ken Burns

Considered by many to be the most important movie about the Civil War, Burns’s film will enthrall viewers with its scope and power.  Using a narrative format interspersed with 1st person accounts read by recognizable personalities, Burns focuses largely on the conflicts fought on Virginia soil.  From Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Burns recreates the world during the Civil War in a captivating documentary.


The Center for Civil War Photography

The Center for Civil War Photography’s online exhibits and galleries demonstrate just how powerful a tool photographs can be in bringing history to life for students.  This website is unique in that it offers extensive narrative to go along with its photographs, creating the scene and the mood of the time.  By using this website, high school students interested in the Civil War will not only be able to read about places and events, they will be able to see history as it took place.


updated: December 13 2009 by kzolandz

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