Saturday, December 5, 2009


Imagine standing in a ghostly field, emptiness surrounding you. To the right there are large hills that sit and loom over you. To the left, a forest of trees sit innocently. You know that you are alone, but there is something that makes you feel you are not. Here on this field, a bloody battle took place between brother and brother, friends and friends, uncle and nephew. Underneath the soil, lies the blood and souls of those who fought for freedom and unity. Here you stand in the mists of ghosts who no matter if they are dressed in blue or grey, have fought for the very thing that you live in: The United States of America.

“Gettysburg, A Graphic Novel” tells the story of the turning point of the Civil War. The book takes the reader day by day through one of the bloodiest battles. Graphics show the town of Gettysburg, key players, and what the people in history would have said and done during the battle. Each scene is adequately drawn to show the hardships and sorrows of the people. The book begins on July 1st, 1863, when a Confederate troop went into the town of Gettysburg to find some shoes. What was supposed to be a friendly stop, became an all out battle. Robert E. Lee, head of the Confederate army, ordered his men to fight on the lower side of a hill, and then march through a field to their deaths. Three days later rain poured down on blood stained fields and hills.

This book is a great resource for any young adult reader and history teacher. I used this book while teaching the battle of Gettysburg to my students who have identified learning disabilities in the area of reading. They loved it. Not only was it a different way of learning, but they understood the information with more understanding by seeing the pictures and graphics of the story I was trying to teach them. The book has a great map, and even highlights the cast of characters. My students used this book as reference for their papers on the Civil War and as a result were better able to write about Gettysburg. The battle of Gettysburg is a concept that all young adults will encounter throughout their high school career, and this book is a great supplement to any U.S. History high school curriculum.
~Amy Vercillo


Stu1980 said...

I think it is a good thing that history can be taught in a different way through mediums such as the graphic novel. It is also impressive that you have successfully used this book in your class.

Anne said...

I love the idea of using this in your class. I think it is great we are able to incorporate so many different materials to enhance the learning process. This sounds like a great way to SHOW students the history rather than using those cheesy 1970s documentries we all love. Plus students appreciate deviance form normal routines.

schenieka hoskins said...

Great job in setting the tone of your post! You do a wonderful job in luring me in as a viewer. I would defiantly want to read this book from your review. I also think that is a great that here history is provided with a twist to be more appealing for young adult readers. Commonly, young readers describe history as boring or either complicated. Therefore, I think adding the pictures to better explain the story is exceptional. Moreover, this addition can give youthful readers a more interesting opinion of history, which is fantastic!

Clarissa H. said...

I was always apprehensive about graphic novels and how to incoporate them into the classroom. However, your review and personal experience using Gettysburg demonstrates how graphic novels can be helpful learning resources for young adult readers inside and outside the classroom.

Krystal Tanami said...

I think that using a graphic novel is a great way to get people who think history is boring to like it. I think I will pick this up next time I'm in the bookstore.