This is a list of some of my favorite books. I decided to group them together because they all center around one thing. The Reconstruction after the Civil War. They are poignant and sometimes sad reminders of the state of humanity in that time period. Some of them are not necessarily listed as “Classics” to me per say, but when I read a book 4-5 times because I really like it, then I guess that says something about how good it is.
To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
This book was so amazing. My brother read it a handful of years ago and he really liked it. I never got around to reading it till I resolved to several months ago in my Fourth Quarter Goals. Scout is a little girl who grows up without her mother and lives with her father and brother. Her Dad whom she calls by his name Atticus, is a lawyer and a very honest one in the small town of Maycomb Alabama. He is elected by the judge to defend a black man who is accused by a white man of assaulting his daughter. Burris Ewell, the man accusing poor Tom Robinson, is considered by the town to be of no account. He drinks his welfare away and abuses his children. This book describes the turmoil this trial threw the town of Maycomb into from the perspective of little 8 year old Scout. Or Jean Louise Finch as is her real name. I would highly recommend this book to the young adult age range. A part of history that I think is very important to be aware of. Some of the things mentioned are rather rough, so I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children.
There were so many beautiful things in this story. Her relationship with her Father and His wisdom. It was so sweet! One of my favorite moments was when Scout was asking her Dad why everyone was down on him for doing what he was doing in defending a black man. She said to him:
“Most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “but before I can live with other folks, I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule, is a person’s conscience.”
~ Harper Lee from To Kill A Mockingbird
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor
This book to me has many sweet moments interwoven into an otherwise sad tale and I found myself angry with the people who treated other people so harshly. There are light hearted moments and moments of sweet family relationships that make me happy. This is the story of the Logan family, told from the perspective of Little Cassie, who is 8 years old, a bit of a spit fire and too young to understand the prejudices that surround the area. Through out the book she becomes more mature and starts to realize some of the things that go on around her. But When their friend TJ starts hanging around with some white boys who are always getting in trouble, the Summer takes a decided turn for the worse. This story really opened my eyes to a lot of the injustices done to people in those years. Mildred Taylor based theses stories off of real happenings in her ancestry. Again, I would recommend these for young adults or older.
Also, the other books by Mildred D. Taylor are very good as well. There are two sequels to Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, and a Prequel.
by Martha Finley
This book has been on my shelf for a long time. It is one of the first that started my Library. I got the first 6 books of Elsie Dinsmore when I was 8 or nine. This one has been my favorite. I have read it over and over. It takes place just after the Civil War and is about Elsie and Her Husband Edward and the troubles of the south after the war. They own a plantation and have always taken good care of their slaves. Teaching them to read and write, and trades so that they could have jobs. Now that the emancipation proclamation has gone out. They pay their now servants better than most and give them many advantages. For that they are persecuted by the loyalist southerners and by the Ku Klux Klan. This story is really amazing and even if you aren’t a girl, I still think it would be greatly enjoyed. This would make a great family read aloud.
Millie’s Remarkable Journey and Millie’s Faithful Heart
based on the characters by Martha Finley
I have loved these books! These can easily be read by younger ones but are mature enough to interest the young adult. Millie, who lives with her family in Indiana, finds that she must travel to the South to live with her Uncle for the Winter. She is an outspoken abolitionist, and her Uncle Horace owns a Working Plantation with many slaves. She must come to grips with the way her Uncle lives and must choose between her own beliefs and her love for her uncle. These books tactfully conquer a difficult subject and are a great introduction of it to younger readers. It is written from a decidedly Christian perspective, which is also something I really like. As I said, I still enjoy these books as a young adult, and I think you will too!
That wraps up my list!
Have you read any of these books?
What are some of your favorite books about the Reconstruction Time Period?
By His Grace,