Book Review: Causes, Reconstruction America, 1863-1877 by Tonya Bolden

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Hardcover $15.56

Link for the book @ publisher:
Hardcover $19.95

Author's site with synopsis:

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers December 2005/144 pages
Non-fiction/Civil War/Reconstruction After Civil War/American History
For ages 9-12...but I'm much older than 12.

This book was written for young adult readers, but I'm posting this book on this blog as well as my blog for children/young adult books.

This year I've taken part in a Civil War Reading Challenge through War Through The Generations. This is my 3rd year to take part in a War Through The Generations Challenge hosted by fellow blogger's--Serena and Anna.  Thank you to Serena and Anna both for hosting these challenges!

Books on the Reconstruction can be one-sided, meaning an author can express his own feelings about the Civil War through the pages of their book. I did not feel that Cause by Tonya Bolden was written in anyway slanting to one side or the other. Views are expressed by those people that lived during this time period from both sides of the Civil War. Views are expressed from the Presidents that were in office during this period.
Views are expressed from freed slaves that lived during this time period. I feel this is a balanced book from any angle.
The author stated early in the book that "more than 60,000 books have been published on the Civil War Reconstruction ." At this point what more could anyone add? 
This year marks 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War. We do not mark this anniversary as if it is a celebration, but rather as a remembrance of America's history. And all Americans whether white or black or red or brown are American. We each have our own feelings, our own views, our own thoughts, and especially and praise God our own VOICE. I guess that is the answer as to why we have 60,000 books on this subject-----because we have a VOICE. 

I usually give a synopsis on the book and then I share my feelings about the book. This time I'm going to share what I learned from this book that I did not know before reading it, as well as my feelings about the book.

Even though the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were written and became apart of the Constitution there were many Americans that were either against or were in a quandary as to what to now do with the freed slaves. I am specifically referring to people who lived in the north and even President Abraham Lincoln.
I did not know that he pondered over sending freed slaves to West Africa and or Central America.
I find this odd because by the mid 1800's the freed slaves had been in America long enough that by sending them back to Africa would have been absurd. Absurd to think they would be able to survive in a land that they did not know. They knew, the land of America.
I did not know that after John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln he shouted out in Latin, "Thus always to tyrants."
I did not know...and want to read more about this, that the Chinese came to this country not just because of the gold rush, but many were brought here by the railroad promising jobs. There were areas of China that were in a famine and men were eager to work. There duties in building the railroad were "chisel/pick/shovel/blast tunnels", for low wages.
I did not know that President Andrew Johnson was "stubborn, combative, shrewd, and sometimes crude."
I do know that if he were President during our age he would not be considered politically correct.

I really liked this book!
It is not too much to digest. Just the right information for a young reader, including an adult that wants a quick book to read on this subject.
There are many photograph's, black and white.
I read this book late one night, staying up because it held my interest.

Blissful Reading!


  1. This looks really good. Thanks for bringing it to our attention! Your review will be featured on War Through the Generations on Aug. 4.


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