In my novel, Finding My Place: One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg which you can buy here, I have a main character and her brother, who is also in the book A LOT! I hope that this will help the book appeal to both girls and boys. I thought I would start with Anna Green, whom you see on the front cover, and then tell you a bit about her brother, James, too. These character summaries can help you introduce the book to your children or students or teach objectives that involve characters in a novel. Let me know if you have any questions!
Anna is a 13-year-old girl, living in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where she has lived her entire life with her Ma, Pa, older brother Michael, and two younger siblings–James and Sara. She loves to read and write in her journal. Her ma wishes that Anna would learn how to become a proper woman and get ready to have a household of her own soon. But Anna is not interested in that. She still wants to be a child and do what she wants, when she wants to. She is kind to her siblings, although James annoys her often. She idolizes her brother Michael, and she is like a second mother to her six-year-old sister, Sarah. Anna has a hard time keeping her mouth shut when she feels people or life is unjust, but she has been trying to be better about this and acting like a proper lady INSTEAD of like a child. She has a crush on 15-year-old Albert, but he doesn’t know it yet. Albert is the nephew of Anna’s busybody neighbor, Mrs. Franklin, whom Anna does not like at all. Anna is also determined to help her family stay together and safe during this war, in spite of the fact Michael and Pa are fighting in the Confederate Army. She also considers their servants, George and his son Noah, to be part of the family, although she does understand about slavery and wishes everyone would treat their slaves/servants fairly. That’s Anna!
James provides a bit of comic relief in the novel–he is a bit like Tom Sawyer from Mark Twain’s classic books. James is 11, and he is most concerned with playing and getting what he wants. He also doesn’t like anyone to tell him what to do–most especially not Anna. When Pa and Michael go off and fight in the army, Pa tells James that he is the man of the house. So, he goes around saying, “I am the man of the house,” and tries to build a protective structure at the mouth of their cave with some twigs. He is very creative that way! He loves to play games like checkers and marbles, but he does not like to lose. James is impulsive, which often gets him in trouble. He wants to be helpful–especially when it means that he can also go on an adventure like when he leaves the protection of the cave to go and help put out a fire in downtown Vicksburg! I hope that everyone will come to love James as much as I did when I was creating him!
Every Wednesday, I post about the book–I have helpful posts like this one introducing characters and presenting facts about Vicksburg and the war. I also create complete lesson plans to go with the book. TO find all these posts, click on FINDING MY PLACE in the sidebar under categories. Each book also comes with a note from the author full of facts about Vicksburg and discussion questions to go with each part (there are three) of the novel. To order one or two autographed copies, please visit this page. To order a classroom set or more, please go to the publisher’s website by clicking here.