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Red Moon at Sharpsburg

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  648 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Award-winning author Rosemary Wells lays bare the senseless devastation of war in this stunning novel. As the Civil War breaks out, India, a young Southern girl, summons her sharp intelligence and the courage she didn'tknow she had to survive the war that threatens to destroy her family, her Virginia home, and the only life she has ever known. A timeless heroine of inspiri ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 5th 2007 by Viking Juvenile (first published January 1st 2007)
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Rating details
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Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Wells has obviously done a lot of research for this book. And it shows. Sometimes to good effect, but often to poor effect. Much of the book reads slowly, with each character obviously serving an illustrative purpose (this is the character who is the trouble-maker, this is the one who mothers the main character, this is the brilliant young scientist, etc.). The main character doesn't quite work. She gets away with just about anything and everything, and no one seems to be really concerned about ...more
Cayson B.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a little confusing but a good book. I recommend it to people that like wars.
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
As 2007 went on I started to hear more and more people talking up, "Red Moon Over Sharpsburg", by Rosemary Wells. It was low buzz, but sometimes low buzz is exactly the flavor of buzz that turns into awards and prizes later on down the road. Maybe this book was going to turn out to be some kind of surprise dark horse hit later in the year! I couldn't take the chance of not reading it, so it was plucked from my library's shelves and devoured on a long plane ride. Sadly, it is not the buzz-worthy ...more
Abby Johnson
Dec 16, 2007 rated it liked it
When we first meet our main character, India Moody is 12 years old. She'd rather run with the boys and play their war games than sit inside with the girls. She likes school and is actually disappointed when the school is shut down because their teacher goes off to fight for the Confederates. With school shut down and the war picking up speed, India's best friend moves north to Oberlin, Ohio where there is a college that accepts women. India begins studying with Emory Trimble, a scientist who sha ...more
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I must have really liked this story of a southern girl during the Civil War because I stayed up late two nights in a row to finish it. India Moody is smart and tomboyish, two things not looked upon nicely in Virginia in 1861. The story develops two themes: India's desire to resist the whaleboned corsets and meek married life that seem to await her and instead go to Oberlin College and the horrors wrought on her family and town by the war. From an adult perspective, parts of the story may seem si ...more
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
I couldn't decide between a four and a five. A beautiful book.
Barbara Brien
When I first started this book, I was prepared to dislike it because it was about the war from the losing side's perspective, and I'm not really a fan of that. However, the book did a good job of showing the war and the attitudes of the South as the war progresses. I was pissed at the way the book ended though - it seemed like there was a lot of the story still left to be told.
Mrs. Jones
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I have not read about the civil war before and this book surely brought it to light. I have been to many of the battlefields and reading about the battles and how they were fought connected the two experiences for me. I loved the characters and India's need for education and learning beyond what was expected.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Kind of confusing at the beginning.
Becky Reynolds
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have loved Rosemary Wells' picture books. For a middle- grade book, this was very deep and well-written. I loved it.
Sarah Bierle
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Listened to un-abridged audio book.
Kayla Davis
Set during the time of the Civil War, this book depicts the story of a headstrong girl named India, who is determined to go against the tides of what is appropriate for women. When the Civil War breaks out in the South school is cancelled, but after proving that she is prone to don boy’s clothing and play war games in the street, India is sentenced to receive tutoring from a young man named Emory who is a friend of the family. However, it is not long before India has convinced Emory to ditch his ...more
LFPL Teen Services
Dec 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Yanks and Rebels
Imagine life as you know it changes forever as neighbor fights against neighbor, brother against brother, and troops of strange and menacing men take over your town, land and home. This is what happens to India Moody and her family and friends in their small Virginia community during the Civil War, the bloodiest war in American history.

Just weeks before her birth, India’s father, a modest blacksmith, help saves the life of rich, land-owning neighbor, Calvin Trimble. Calvin swears to help support
Elizabeth Kysa Sedivy
Red Moon At Sharpsburg follows a young girl named India Moody, who lives in Shenandoah Valley which is located in Virginia. She is about twelve and during this time the Civil War is going on, the book describes her experiences living through it. India lives with her parents, along with her friend Julia and Julia’s parents alongside to two black salves that go by the names Micah and Ester Cooley. Total there are six of them living together. The twist is that the families made a promise with each ...more
Sep 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
The first thing I noticed as I began to read this book was the simple writing. There was nothing even remotely complex in the writing. I was surprised and the style actually irritated me, but I thought that perhaps Wells was using a writing technique where the complexity of the writing would grow as her narrator grows up. I was mistaken, and the writing style irritated me right through the end of the novel. It was only when I realized that this is the same Rosemary Wells who writes the charming ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
* WELLS, Rosemary. Red Moon at Sharpsburg. 238p. Viking. Apr. 2007. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-670-03638-7. LC number unavailable.

Gr 7 Up--One word describes 13-year-old India Moody-perseverance. She has heard of a college in Ohio that accepts women and is determined to go there, an unthinkable dream for a girl in 1862. She is tutored by her neighbor, Emory Trimble, an eccentric scientist who teaches her about biology and chemistry, and with whom she later forms a romantic relationship. When her fa
Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
The American Civil War was a tumultuous time of change. The war killed people and brought destruction and devastation to the land. It also changed attitudes and ideas, about slavery, science and medicine, and women. 12-year-old India Moody is an unusually strong heroine very much ahead of her time. Her town of Berryville, Virginia is altered when the war begins—schools close, many people flee, and others enlist to fight in the Confederate Army. India’s mother wants her to learn scripture, handwr ...more
Judy Desetti
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves historical fiction, or needs a book set during the Civil war.
Shelves: civil-war, war
Loved this story. The descriptions of life during the civil war painted vivid images for me that remain with me.
Jan 18, 2010 rated it liked it
When we first meet our main character, India Moody is 12 years old. She'd rather run with the boys and play their war games than sit inside with the girls. She likes school and is actually disappointed when the school is shut down because their teacher goes off to fight for the Confederates. With school shut down and the war picking up speed, India's best friend moves north to Oberlin, Ohio where there is a college that accepts women. India begins studying with Emory Trimble, a scientist who sh ...more
Red Moon at Sharpsburg takes place in Virginia in the middle of the Civil War where India, a teenage southern girl, has an up close and personal view of the Civil War. India is able to first handedly see the effects the Civil War has on the community. While waiting out the war, India is taught by a young man named Emory. Emory teaches India about his new discoveries in medicine and other natural sciences. After hearing Emory’s amazing discoveries, India is determined to go to Ohio to attend a un ...more
Paul Lunger
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In "Red Moon at Sharpsburg", Rosemary Wells tells the story of India Moody & the ordeal her family would go through in their lives in Northern Virginia during the Civil War. The book itself is set in Berryville, VA in the Shenandoah Valley & starts off the vents just after First Manassas when the war was still new & the Confederacy was convinced this was their war to win. Across the months, weeks & years to follow we follow India & her family as the war hits home from her fat ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent historical fiction read. Shelved in the YA section in our library, but adults will enjoy.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Personally, I didn't like the book "Red Moon at Sharpsburg." In my opinion, it was very boring and unappealing to me. It was about a girl named India who was living during the time that the Civil War broke out. Her parents allowed India to go to a tutor to expand her education. While this was happening, the Civil War slowly moved towards Sharpsburg. Once the Battle of Sharpsburg began, India was forced to live a life in a place where war was going on. She was still being tutored but was reminded ...more
Apr 30, 2014 added it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
The chapter book is historical fiction and takes place in Virginia. It begins right before the Civil War breaks out between the North and South. The story is told in first person narrative, by a 12-year-old India (girl) that experiences firsthand the traumatic events of the Civil War. Unlike other girls, India is interested in science and playing with the boys. India is from the South, the author is able to express the culture of the South and that the purpose of fighting for them was to preserv ...more
Jen Berry
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Red Moon at Sharpsburg is set during the civil war and follows the life of a Southern Virginia girl named India. India is not well off, like her friend Julia, and her family relies on her father’s income. This book follows her life during the war, with her father enlisting and her learning science. It ends with India making her way to Ohio to attend college. One of the main strengths of this book is how authentic it is to the times but also the relationships established are very realistic. It gi ...more
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I like that my daughter's fifth-grade teacher assigns the kids historical novels when they're studying certain wars (like this one, the civil war) to learn about history. I think it's a good way to get kids interested in history without the dullness of just reading facts out of textbooks. I led a group of six kids in the discussions every Friday for this book. I really liked some of the issues that came up in the book for us to discuss, such as whether or not it's wrong to steal the wallet of a ...more
Jun 11, 2010 rated it liked it
(Genre:teen historical fiction) This is the story of 12 year old India, a young girl whose father is a harness maker in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Her family and her neighbors get caught up in the early excitement of the Civil War and many of the men and young men enlist in the Confederate Army in the belief that the war will be over within 3 months. Disillusionment begins to appear as the war lasts longer than they expect and as the casualties hit close to home. India is a strong-willed ...more
Hannah Axtelle
This book was a surprise to me because I expected it to be quite boring. Instead, this book was quite intriguing. I loved the historical accuracy and the will of the main character. I enjoyed being immersed in the details of that time period and how girls were expected to have certain roles but I loved how the main character tried to defy those rules. I also liked how the author showed the impact of the war in this book. I enjoyed how the book didn't focus on the injustice of slavery but on the ...more
Nov 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Used to read Rosemary's books for kids religously back in the day-had no idea she wrote novels for young adults too. Very glad I found out though, I couldn't put this book down (literally, my boyfriend was giving me a weird look last night because I was carrying it around trying to finish it while getting ready for bed). We just finished this one for Children's lit as well. I like the protagonist because she's a headstrong teenage girl who insists on playing with the boys and learning what were ...more
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults and historical fiction lovers
Recommended to Jane by: ALA notable book list
I love Rosemary Wells books for younger children and she has not disappointed me in the historical novel for Young Adults.
One of my favortie books is Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt which is the story of a young southern boy coming of age during the Civil War. Red Moon at Sharpsburg can be viewed as the counterpart story, a coming of age story of a young girl from a working class family in Virginia during the Civil War. India is 12 when the story begins and is 16 as the story ends. The book has
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HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review: Red Moon at Sharpsburg 1 12 Aug 18, 2016 07:30PM  
Is India Moody a black gril 1 10 May 05, 2010 01:50PM  
Is India Moody a black gril 1 5 May 05, 2010 01:50PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Rosemary Wells is the author of a number of popular children's books, most notably the Max and Ruby series which follows the everyday adventures of sibling bunnies - curious three year old Max and bossy seven year old Ruby. She gets the inspiration for Max and Ruby from her two daughters and the experiences they
More about Rosemary Wells...

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