Book Review by Aarene Storms: All Their Names Were Courage

Friday, January 25, 2013

All Their Names Were Courage : a novel of the Civil War by Sharon Phillips Denslow

The year is 1862, and Sallie Burd is eleven years old. Inspired by the beautiful drawings of her friend Isaac and the adventures of the family mare who was stolen by Confederate soldiers and later escaped home, Sallie decides to compile a handmade book about the horses of the Civil War. 

Letters to her brother and his letters home chronicle the progress of the book and the war, as well as the small events on the home farm in Kentucky. Letters to famous Union and Confederate generals and their written responses chronicle the courage of individual equines who served the Blue army and the Grey, and also detail the exploits and hardships of soldiers from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

This sweet little historical fiction novel will appeal to history buffs and horse lovers. Despite the wartime setting, there is minimal bloodshed on-page, no cussing, no kissing and no nekkidness. Recommended for ages 10 to adult. 

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach Library, KCLS


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