A dramatically illustrated biography of Private Rosetta “Lyons” Wakeman, the only soldier whose letters capture the Civil War from a woman’s perspective.
In 1862, the war between North and South showed no signs of stopping. In rural New York, nineteen-year-old Rosetta Wakeman longed for a life beyond the family farm. One day she made a brave, bold choice: she cut her braid and disguised herself as a man. No one suspected that “Lyons” was a woman—not even when she signed up to fight for the Union. As Rosetta’s new regiment traveled to Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Louisiana, she sent letter after letter home to New York. Army life wasn’t easy, but Rosetta knew it was where she belonged— supporting her family and serving her country.
Through intricately detailed scratchboard art and excerpts from Rosetta’s letters, this fascinating biography introduces young readers to an unconventional woman who was determined to claim her own place in history. Memorable and inspiring, Guts for Glory is a stirring portrait of the Civil War and the courage of those who fought on its front lines.
JoAnna Lapati is a writer and artist based in Warwick, Rhode Island. While researching this book, she retraced Rosetta’s footsteps by traveling to sites like the Chenango Canal, the US Capitol, and the Mansfield Historic Site Museum and Pleasant Hill Battle Park. JoAnna also spent six years as a Civil War reenactor with the 22nd Massachusetts Volunteers- disguised as a man, just like Rosetta. Guts for Glory is JoAnna's debut picture book. Visit her website at joannalapati.com.
Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A fascinating, well-told, close-up glimpse into women’s, military, and Civil War history; Rosetta’s story will inspire. The exceptional scratchboard illustrations, with some color digitally added, resemble wood engravings and beautifully capture period details and settings. An excellent work that brings history home for readers and will make them ponder: What might I have done?"
Publishers Weekly “Artwork deploys highly detailed scratchboard techniques that resemble woodcut illustrations, providing a gritty dimensionality to the work.”
"Well researched, beautifully illustrated, and thoughtfully written." — DeAnne Blanton, author of They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War
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