A Dear America: The Light in the Storm
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Newbery Medal winner Karen Hesse's Civil War diary, A LIGHT IN THE STORM, is now back in print with a beautiful new cover!
In 1861, Amelia Martin's father is stripped of his post as a ship's captain when he is caught harboring the leader of a slave rebellion. Now he is an assistant lighthouse keeper on Fenwick Island, off the coast of Delaware -- a state wedged between the North and the South, just as Amelia is wedged between her warring parents. Amelia's mother blames her abolitionist husband for their living conditions, which she claims are taking a toll on her health. Amelia observes her mother's hate and her father's admiration for Abraham Lincoln.
But slavery is the deeper issue separating the two sides. As the Civil War rages on, Amelia slowly learns that she cannot stop the fighting, but by keeping watch in the lighthouse each day, lighting the lamps, cleaning the glass, and rescuing victims of Atlantic storms, she can still make a difference.
Lighthouse chores. Tuesday morning he said it was good to get out of a house filled with women, and his eyes laughed as he said so. It gave me an oddly pleasant feeling, knowing he sought refuge from the mainland in my company. Yesterday morning, as Daniel rowed me across the Ditch from Fenwick to Bayville, we talked about slavery. “This fight over owning slaves has been too long in coming,” he said. “Slavery is wrong, it always has been wrong, always will be wrong, no matter what color a
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 S23 R24 Thursday, June 27, 1861 P. Cloudy. Wind S.E. Moderate. Uncle Edward said today that several of the area farmers are arranging to take a day off for observation of the Fourth. This is not an easy time for them to be away from their fields. Both the hay and wheat are heavy and ready for the scythe. Yet for these men it is important to show their loyalty. I am so glad to know of them. Daisy has gone off to Pennsylvania for a week and
growled. They peeked around my legs, drawing my skirts about them. We ate plenty of berries during our outing. But we brought back enough to satisfy Mrs. Hale’s recipe for berry pie. 96 8662_01_001-150_r5ay.qxd 5/6/99 12:22 AM Page 97 Monday, July 22, 1861 Clear. Wind N. Moderate. Keeper Hale, Father, and I talked as we polished the lenses and the reflectors this morning. With each passing day Keeper Hale permits me to do more of my normal Lighthouse chores. There is an ease between Father
and his family enjoy. I told Mother I would take the money and go to Bayville and get supplies for her. “I’ll work with the Keeper’s wife.” Mother shook her head. She would not part with Keeper Hale’s money. “Mother, you can’t just take it.” “Why not? We have so little. Your father should be Head Keeper.” I do not have enough money to buy supplies for Keeper Hale’s refreshments myself. The money I earn selling fish disappears as soon as I purchase more medicine for Mother from Dr. McCabe. But
enough he would eventually talk. And he did start talking. He said it is so different here in Delaware. The way people talk about the War, the way they talk against President Lincoln. “The War is easier to understand when you discuss it with like-minded people.” I asked him to explain it to me. He told me the things I already knew. That the slave states wanted to expand slavery into the new territories, that their pride forced them to turn their backs on the Union when they could not have their