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The Girls of Gettysburg

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Picketts Charge, the suicidal charge led by Robert E. Lee on the last day of Gettysburg, serves as the powerful climax of this Civil War novel, told from the unique perspectives of three girls.
Thirteen-year-old Annie Gordon, disguised as a boy, sells herself as a substitute soldier and joins the Portsmouth Rifles of the Ninth Virginia Army as they march north to Gettysburg
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published August 31st 2014 by Holiday House (first published January 1st 2014)
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Donna Merritt
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Think you know the Civil War? THE GIRLS OF GETTYSBURG by Bobbi Miller will fill in some gaps. While it is only a slice of time in that horrific period, this novel (historical fiction) provides three remarkable views.

Annie disguises herself as a boy to fight. Her reasons for running away and enlisting could have been a bit more developed, and I am unsure why her brother James is mentioned since he seems to play no significant role (it is her brother William who influences her), but the reality th
Rebecca Colby
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic work of historical fiction that portrays the lives of three different girls during the Battle of Gettysburg. There is Annie who disguises herself as a boy in order to fight for the rebels, Grace who is a free black who now fears for her freedom, and Tillie who is the daughter of a local merchant and is thrust into looking after the wounded soldiers. Each girl is strong-minded and proves to be heroic in the face of the war. Ms Miller has definitely done her research and has wo ...more
Valerie McEnroe
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here's a Civil War novel that hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves. It's going onto my top ten list of Civil War books for kids.

The book tells the Battle of Gettysburg from the alternating perspective of three teenage girls. Tillie Pierce was an actual eye-witness to the battle, and published a book about it years later. She thought she was escaping to safety when she went to stay with friends south of town. Instead she went right into the middle of the fray, and the house became a make-sh
Dawn Zachary
Reflection: As with most wars, the American Civil War was a turning point in our society as a whole but it specifically affected Black Americans and women and there was no going back. With the advent of a Confederate invasion of Gettysburg, free Blacks fled farther north knowing they would be pressed into slavery by the Rebels. This is brought out when Tillie, trying to hide her theft from Grace by noting the issue with, “so many of your kind leaving as fast as they might, I just thought your fa ...more
Rebecca Upjohn
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Girls of Gettysburg by Bobbi Miller shows the immediacy of the American Civil War during the buildup to and culmination of the final battle at Gettysburg. It is told through the eyes of three girls: Annie (disguised as a boy), a Confederate soldier, Grace, a free black girl who lives in Gettysburg, and Tillie, a local merchant’s daughter. Each girl, brimming with gumption, follows a compelling path.

The story, told from these three points of view, never backs away from the grim realities of
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bobbi Miller’s GIRLS OF GETTYSBURG is an intimate portrayal of the lives of three, but very different, young ladies, during the days leading up to the infamous battle of Gettysburg. All three characters come into the story from different directions but breathe life into the parts they each play. Annie Gordon, who has already lost both brothers to the war is determined to take up arms in their stead and disguises herself as a boy in order to do so. Tillie Pierce, the spoiled daughter of a merchan ...more
Teresa Bateman
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What was Gettysburg like in the summer of 1863? Bobbie Miller has done her research and presents the town, and the battle that took place there, from three perspectives. Annie is a rebel soldier, disguised as a boy and learning the camaraderie and dangers of war. She will not survive the battle. Grace is a free Negro (using the author's historically accurate term) whose father owns a large orchard near the town and whose family is well known there. They are free, but is there a difference betwee ...more
Saowbia (Ever the Reader)
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Long ago, women did NOT have the rights they wanted. I honestly thought in all of Americas great wars there wasn't any women actually participating in any war as a soldier, I mean. When I came across this book, I was immediately intrigued and interested in a story about the Civil War from three girls perspectives. I really enjoyed all 3 of the characters. Each was brave an heroic in there own way. Apparently, at the beginning of the book, there actually was a female soldier in the Battle of Gett ...more
Julie Fulton
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book one day and had finished reading it the next - I was hooked! I know little of the American Civil War, but this book vividly brought to life what I imagine to be one of the bloodiest battles of the conflict. Seen through the eyes of three very different young girls - Grace, a 'free' black, Tillie, a local merchant's daughter and Annie, who disguises herself as a boy so she might fight with the rebels and avenge her brothers' deaths - the story unfolds across the build up to ...more
Karen Upper
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book by Ms Miller gives the reader a very tiny slice of life for 3 very differently raised young women during, what is considered to be the most horrific war in American history - the Civil War.

Based upon real citizens of the time, this story centres around Grace, Tillie and Anne. It brings to light a little known historical fact that women , in disguise, fought along side the men.

This narrative covers a 5 day period - before and after the Battle of Gettysburg and how circumstance and fate
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This stunning example of well-researched historical fiction brings the Battle of Gettysburg alive through the stories of three brave young women. You’ll experience the terror of Grace squished into a root cellar, feel the pain in Tillie’s sore hands as she lugs bucket after bucket of water, and stumble along with exhaustion and heat on Annie’s 25 mile march into Gettysburg, all the while you cheer them on. Well-done!
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Battle of Gettysburg has been told numerous times, but never through the viewpoints of three young women: Grace, a free slave, and Tillie, white and privileged, live in the PA city. Annie is a Southern girl posing as a boy in order to gain a broader life experience as a Confederate soldier. The familiar battle looks and feels quite different from these girls’ perspectives, and their stories may change young readers’ understanding of a pivotal Civil War battle changed lives.
Mark Buxton
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's unusual to read about the story of a famous battle through the eyes of three females. Annie's story was the most interesting to me; the author shared more consistent character interactions, and her secret added a sense of mystery. Grace's story became more suspenseful as the Rebel army drew closer. Tillie's story was least compelling to me, although her character showed great strength and courage when the battle began. I admired her actions once it came to an end. ...more
Yvonne Ventresca
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade
The Girls of Gettysburg features the alternating points of view of three girls in Gettysburg during the Civil War. This historical time is portrayed in a suspenseful and age-appropriate way. Author Bobbi Miller seamlessly weaves in facts from the time period. Kids who like history will enjoy this book, but even those who don’t necessarily seek out historical fiction will become caught up in Miller’s storytelling.
Magen Nail
This an amazing book for getting kids interested in the Civil war. the characters are based off of real people and are well written and relatable. At the end of the book, she includes a list of the sources she used which could be helpful to teachers. All in all, this is well worth the read and shelf space in a library or classroom.
Giovanna Forsyth
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Teaching my history buff about the Civil War is hard. This book took Gettysburg and created a fictional, but realistic look at what life was like during the 4 days of that battle. I cannot recommend this enough. It does have some gore and violence, and there's a lot of subtext that required explaining, but this was such a lovely introduction. ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this was very well done for such a miserable topic. I wish that it was longer so we could get to know the characters better, or that she focused on one character, but I found it fascinating that Tillie did exist and what had inspired the Miller to write the book in the first place. This is a great book for kids to get a little bit of Civil War history without it being too graphic.
Rachel Prince
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The pacing and length were absolutely perfect and I loved how the lives of the girls intertwined. Lots of historical information and characters, as well as an excellent story.
Claire Lillian
This book turned out considerably better than I thought it would. Not that I necessarily thought it would be bad, but I just wasn't sure at first. But it was really good! The chapters switch between all three girls and are quite short which kept me going a lot quicker. I actually picked this up in Gettysburg, because you don't hear enough about the woman in wars.

So because of this book I learnt that between 500 and 1,000 women disguised themselves as men and enlisted in both sides of the Civil W
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book had me in tears. It is a quick read - partly because you can't put it down! The author does an excellent job of conveying the fears, challenges and heartache experienced by 3 types of people involved in the Battle of Gettysburg. She closes with the dedication of the cemetery and a few personal notes from President Lincoln which puts a whole new light on that "little speech".
An essential read for any young person studying the American Civil war, women's voices or race relations. Highly
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nicely done; a different take on the Civil War for kids, from three girls' perspectives. One is a freeborn Black, one is from the South pretending to be her brother (who'd died) to join the fight, and one is a Northern white with little interest or knowledge of the larger problems going on. Their stories are inter-woven nicely, well-developed characters, just the right level of information for middle-grade readers to get a feel of what life was like for three different girls during a tumultuous ...more
Sep 06, 2019 added it
This is probably a YA book rather than written for adults, but i enjoyed it anyway.
The story of 3 girls living at the time of the Civil War and specifically the battle of Gettysburg and the intersection of their lives.
A white girl of means who is sheltered from harsh realities of live, a white girl whose family lives hand to mouth and who has already lost two brothers in the war and her father, a daughter of two free blacks who knows that one person's freedom is not necessarily the same as anoth
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a really well created fictional novel that interwoven the tales of three different girls that all end up at Gettysburg. I really liked how the author told the experiences of many within these three characters. The writing was donee very well and it was an enjoyable read. I recommend to anyone who wants to know more about the subject.
Kathleen Edgin
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As a reading tutor, I'm always onthe lookout for books about girls, for girls.

This is an excellent read which tween girls can glimps the Civil War from three young girls who are at Gettysburg. A wonderfully written historical, fiction novel which engages young readers and enables them to 'experience' the war and hopefully survive it.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I would've liked a longer book to get more involved in the lives of the three girls. However, since I visited Gettysburg Battlefield last fall, I could picture a lot of what was going on and where. Very sad! ...more
Anita McDivitt Barrios
I paired reading this text with Gary Paulsen's Soldiers Heart to teach CC ELA standards for historical fiction in 7th grade, 7.R.RL.09. They helped students identify how changing the point of view, or perspective, of characters in historical fiction can radically change the story.

I introduced the idea that women didn't always "make history," in the sense that they didn't make big headlines or get to sign treaties or lead soldiers into battle. Students read a New York Times Upfront / Scholastic a
The Girls of Gettysburg follows three girls from May 1863 to the days following the Battle of Gettysburg. Annie wants to follow in her brothers footsteps by heading North disguised as a boy. She plans to join the Portsmouth Rifles of the Ninth Virginia Army by taking the place of a wealthy women's grandson. At the same time, Grace Bryan and Tillie Pierce are in Gettysburg. Grace is the daughter of Abraham Bryan, a free farmer who refuses to leave his property and flee from the advancing rebels. ...more
Laura Aase
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! I think my students would as well. It follows 3 girls. In the weeks before the battle of Gettysburg, we meet: Annie, is an angry southern girl who has lost both of her brothers to the war and is chafing at the societal "rules" for girls, so she runs away to dress as a boy and fight to avenge the death of her brothers. Grace is a free black girl whose father is a landowner. Her mother wants the family to leave Gettysburg because, if the Rebels win, they fear capture an ...more
Oct 11, 2014 rated it liked it
The Girls of Gettysburg is the story of three girls who experience the Battle of Gettysburg in different ways. Annie is a Southern girl who has disguised herself as a boy and joined the Confederate Army. She has run away from her mother and set out to live up to the hopes of her brothers who have died in the war. Grace is a free black living in Gettysburg. She has the chance to flee North but stays and helps two runaway slaves. Tillie is a rich white girl living in Gettysburg. Her world changes ...more
Christina Banach
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a Brit I know very little about the American Civil War. Having read this fascinating work of historical fiction I can now say that I have gained a little more insight into the war itself and the Battle of Gettysburg in particular. Told from the viewpoint of three young women this compelling story not only entertains but has the ring of truth to it. This is no mundane history book, rather it is a brilliantly conceived story of passion, bravery and the fight for survival. A powerful read, The G ...more
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Bobbi Miller earned her MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College, and was awarded honors with distinction for her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature degree from Simmons College in Boston.

Her first middle grade novel, Big River’s Daughter (Holiday House, 2013) comes recommended by the International Reading Association, and was nominated for the Amelia Bloomer Project (American Library

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