Soldier Song: A True Story of the Civil War

Gilbert Ford (Illustrator) Debbie Levy (Author)


Amid the fearsome battles of the Civil War, both Union and Confederate soldiers were urged onward by song.

There were songs to wake them up and songs to call them to bed,
Songs to ready them for battle and to signal their retreat,
Songs to tell them that their side was right, and the other wrong . . .

And there was one song that reminded them all of what they hoped to return to after the war.

Defeated in the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, the Union soldiers retreated across the river. There, a new battle emerged as both armies volleyed competing songs back and forth. With the Christmas season upon them, however, Federals and Confederates longed for the same thing. As the notes of "Home, Sweet Home" rose up from both sides, they found common ground for one night.

Interwoven with soldiers' letters and journal entries, this is a true story of duty and heartbreak, of loyalty and enemies, and of the uniting power of music. Debbie Levy's moving text and Gilbert Ford's vibrant, layered illustrations come together to create an unforgettable tale of American history.

Product Details

Price: $18.98  $17.46
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published Date: February 07, 2017
Pages: 80
Dimensions: 10.8 X 0.7 X 8.3 inches | 1.14 pounds
ISBN: 9781484725986

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About the Author

Debbie Levy is the award-winning author of nonfiction and fiction books for young people, including New York Times best-selling I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, winner of the 2017 Sydney Taylor Book Award and 2016 National Jewish Book Award; and We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, a 2014 Jane Addams Award Honor Book and Bank Street College Best Book. She also wrote The Year of Goodbyes, a 2010 Sydney Taylor Honor Book and Kirkus Reviews Best Book. Debbie is a former lawyer and newspaper editor, and lives in Maryland with her husband. They have two grown sons. Gilbert Ford has lived half his life in The South and half his life in The North. He has illustrated covers for many books for young readers, such as Three Times Lucky and Mr. Lemoncello's Library, and is the illustrator for The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch, as well as a number of picture books, including the award-winning Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. Gilbert currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Visit him online at


"A moving tale."--Kirkus Reviews
* "Through insightful narration and vibrant silhouettes and cartooning, Levy (I Dissent) and Ford (The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring) vividly bring to life a chapter in the U.S. Civil War and the integral role music played during the conflict."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This engaging, fresh read offers a new perspective on a familiar subject."--School Library Connection
* "[R]emarkable. . . . An arresting, soulful tribute to the power of music and the shared humanity that underlies conflict."--Booklist, starred review