Few school history programs treat all eras of history equally, and most public school curriculum give inordinate importance to the modern era (leaving students in ignorance of everything that came before 1850). Homeschoolers tend to emphasize different periods of history than the public schools do, and our most recent poll asked the question: "What period of history are homeschoolers most fascinated with?"
Choices were: the Reformation, the Pilgrims, the American War for Independence, and the American War between the States. Visitors and followers of this blog gave a decided 52% of the vote to the American War between the States (generally known outside of homeschooling circles as the Civil War).
As a homeschool graduate myself, I have to concur with the outcome of this poll. States' rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the blue and the gray--these occupied far more of our homsechool history time than anything in the twentieth century. One of the ways we learned about the Civil War was through historical fiction, and I remember my late elementary school days were filled with Rifles for Watie (Harold Keith), Across Five Aprils (Irene Hunt), and Turn Homeward, Hannalee (Patricia Beatty).
Since graduating from high school, I've read very little Civil War historical fiction. Do you have any suggestions for historical fiction reads that capture the essence of that era?