5/19/12 ** This was an unexpected find when I attended an Indiana SCBWI conference with my husband and was browsing the bookseller's display. I typically wouldn't have bought a new,hardback for my classroom, but thought the topic and ease of reading made the book worthwhile.
Tommy's father is the pastor at the Presbyterian church in their small, Georgia town. When floods of wounded Confederate soldiers arrive by every train, the church is converted to a hospital. Tommy sees a one-armed man drop a book while being transferred from a wagon into the church. When he rescues the book and returns it to the man, he quickly realizes there's a mystery. When Tommy realizes that the man might be a Yankee soldier,he has to decide whether to expose his secret or help him escape. The escape of slaves also becomes part of the story.
The book handles a complex issue in a rather simplistic way, yet provides an ethical quandary, suspenseful action, and satisfying conclusion in the limited space allowed in a 120 page early chapter book.