Dill, Margo. Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg
White Mane Kids, 2012
Nominated for the Cybils by Publisher/Author
Anna and her mother, brother and young sister are trying to survive during the war in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her older brother and father are off fighting, and rumor has it that they may be very close to home. Things have been so bad for so long that the family has had their slave dig into the hill by their home and construct a shelter, to which they flee when the fighting gets bad. When Anna's mother is killed, things become even more dire for the children. At first, they stay with their pastor's family, but their shelter is too small, and Anna and her brother James are sent to live with Mrs. Franklin's family. Mrs. Franklin just wants the children to work for her. She abuses the family slave, spoils her whiny son, and is very unpleasant. Anna tries to appease the woman while trying to hunt down her family, but how long can she stand not only the rigors of living in a city under siege but being in such a negative family atmosphere?
Strengths: Very good information about living condition in this particular place and time. I also liked the sans serif font that the book used. Study questions are at the back.
Weaknesses: Horrible cover, and the book was very depressing. Even though Anna was living under difficult circumstances, I would have preferred there to be some bright spot a little earlier in the book.