A teacher-friend of Hemphill’s got an ARC and started reading it to her class. Here’s the verdict:
“Kids LOVE Stonewall. They love that Uncle Cyrus got shot in the butt!! They beg me to read daily. I was reading Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and the kids asked me to stop so that we can finish Stonewall.
This book has been WONDERFUL for talking about voice. It is just awesome! One little girl asked me today if Stonewall was the “Boogy Woogy Bugle Boy from Company B”… that was so cute. She had been thinking about it all day.”
By the way, that’s NOT a spoiler. From the beginning of the book, Stonewall Hinkleman knows that his great-great-great-great Uncle Cyrus got wounded in the rear at the Battle of Bull Run. He assumes this was because Cyrus was running away from the battle. Of course, when he goes back in time he finds out that both Cyrus and the battle are a lot more complicated than that.