This story is based on the life of Billy Bayly, a real boy who lived in Pennsylvania during the Civil War and had an unlikely friendship with a Southern soldier.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-4-During the battle of Gettysburg, Billy hears a knock at the door in the middle of the night and finds an unexpected guest. "Cousin" has escaped from the Confederate Army, hungry, tired, and frightened. Seeing that this Rebel soldier is only a boy, Billy's mother takes him in and hides him. This easy-to-read story shows how bravery comes in many shapes. Based on the real William Bayly and his mother, Harriet Hamilton Bayly, it is written as fiction but allows beginning readers and researchers some insight into life during the Civil War. Full-page, full-spread, and spot art, executed mainly in shades of yellow and tan, add detail and expression to this story of courage and an unlikely friendship.-Bethany L. W. Hankinson, Miller Elementary School, Newark, OH
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Gr. 1-3. Based on a true Civil War story, this compelling Ready-to-Read title is written from the viewpoint of a boy on a farm near Gettysburg. As the battle comes closer, Papa is hiding in town, and Mama and Billy shelter a young, scared rebel deserter. They call him Cousin. When Mama is away helping the wounded Union soldiers, Cousin saves Billy from an angry, desperate rebel soldier. The spare, simple words tell the home-front story without a big battlefield panorama--just the distant sound of deadly cannon and the fear and anger. Floca's line-and-watercolor illustrations show exhausted soldiers in dirty uniforms and the long lines of defeated men. A final note fills in the history behind this well-told tale of friends and enemies. Hazel Rochman
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