Dear America: The Winter of Red Snow

Dear America Series Author: Kristina Gregory
Guided Reading Level: S
Historical Fiction
My Recommended Age: 11 and up

"What will the soldiers be like?" wonders 11 year old Abby when she hears that George Washington is bringing his army to winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  It is December, 1777 and the Revolutionary War is in full swing.  Battle weary soldiers seek rest and recovery near Abby's home, and she witnesses first hand the horrible conditions they arrive in.  Many don't even have shoes and leave bloody footprints in the snow as they pass.  While Abby does feel sorry for these men, she has a hard time tolerating their thievery and destruction of her own famiy's property.

This was a great book! I found it very enjoyable, as well as educational.  The author does a great job showing the conditions of the American Army during the Revolutionary War, in addition to showing what day to day life was like for the colonists.  There are a few things to be aware of, the soldiers are described quite accurately, which means it isn't always pretty.  Things like bloody feet, black toes, sickness, and limbs being amputated without anesthetic are described.  There were also several soldiers hanged or shot for stealing and desertion.


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