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The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse
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The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  53 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The wonderful wordplay of J. Patrick Lewis breathes new life into the speeches of Lincoln, the letters of Grant and Lee, and the moving human drama of our country's Civil War. Lewis' poignant poetry gives young readers a vivid insight into the brutal conflict that tore America apart. The author draws on primary-source books and articles to inspire each poem, bringing the o ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published November 27th 2007 by National Geographic Children's Books (first published 2007)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
J. Patrick Lewis has brought the emotions experienced during war to this book of Civil War photos accompanied by poetry. Lewis tries here to capture the emotions of the various participants and onlookers of the conflict--the slaves, the soldiers, the soldiers' families, the wounded, John Brown, Frederick Douglass, William Tecumseh Sherman, even an animal!--and, for such a short book, he covers the full gamut, except for the female viewpoint and that of the young child. The poems, written in free ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
J. Patrick Lewis' The Brothers’ War. Civil War Voices in Verse is a compilation of poems supported by the photographs and short explanation of the theme or a person depicted within the stanzas or free verses. The poet chooses strong expressive language that paints the emotional picture of the Civil War. The poems reveal dreadfulness of the war in which father stands against his son: “By what outrageous powers of circumstance/Do men take arms against their own?” (p.13). The book contains eleven p ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
J. Patrick Lewis' 2007 collection of heartfelt poems told in the fictional voices of those who participated either directly or indirectly in the Civil War helps create an emotional context for readers interested in learning more about America’s bloodiest war. Photographs from the era purposefully paired with each poem further enhance the reader’s understanding of this period in American history.

Recommended for grades 5-9, students studying America’s Civil War will appreciate Lewis' poems as the
Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

Grades 6-12
A combination of photographs, historical captions, and poetry communicate the chaos and tragedy of The Civil War. Poems are sometimes narrative and sometimes rhyming, and present perspectives of the war sometimes forgotten. The endnotes provide geographical information, a timeline, and notes on both the photographs and poems. Some photographs are disturbing.
Tim Snell
Oct 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Genre: Poetry/Informative
Copyright: 2007

"The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse" is a collection of poems written about events and experiences felt from those who participated in one of the bloodiest wars of all time. The poems are haunting and recollect the horrors that soldiers, civilians, and slaves faced throughout the Civil War. Accompanying the poems are actual photographs taken during the Civil War. Three photographs really made see the horrible outcomes war has on humanity; the 1st
Laura Mcclanahan
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 544
Genre- Poetry

A powerful book that combines National Geographic's collection of Civil War Era photographs, poetry to accompany the pictures, and short history snippets to inform the reader of each event that inspired the poem. J. Patrick Lewis often follows the less-is-more in his poetry, for while he hints at the event with vague descriptions and metaphors, the reader either must read the historical description that accompanies each poem, or draw upon prior knowledge.

For instance, in the poem t
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
This is serviceable as Civil War curricular supplemental material or even maybe for children who are fascinated with this historical event. There are altogether 11 short verses and a total of 32 pages illustrated with large-sized photographs and historical notes in tiny prints. A poet's explanation of each poem is appended. The notes are useful in that they explain how these voices are imagined and at the same time, I find the stylistic explanation unnecessary and limiting. It is interesting how ...more
Sandy Brehl
Archival photos from before, during, and after the Civil War are captioned movingly, displayed in ominously dark tones that fully convey the massive losses of the Civil War era. Each and every point of view is represented in one way or another. back matter includes maps, time line, photography notes, poetry notes, and a bibliography.
This book MUST be included in any discussion or research or study of the Civil War.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Teachers of Va. Studies should definitely incorporate some of this poetry and photography into their Civil War units. The "back matter" contained lots of information and made the poetry even more meaningful. I see that a few reviews note that this book may not be for kids, but I think upper elementary students are well-prepared for the images that accompany the poems.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Not for kids! There are some gruesome Brady pictures in here, plus there was a poem with a verse about "stopping a bullet with my face" or something. Otherwise a great book, but for older kids. There are little synopsis next to the poems about the aspect of the Civil War they were writing about.
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J. Patrick Lewis is the current Children's Poet Laureate. He has written more than seventy children's books, including Once Upon a Tomb: Gravely Humorous Verses. J. Patrick Lewis lives in Ohio.
More about J. Patrick Lewis...