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Clara Barton Braves the Battle of Antietam

Story by Claudia Friddell
Art by Christopher Cyr
Calkins Creek

Date of Publication: March 1, 2022
ISBN: 978-1635923223
40 Pages

When Clara Barton sets her mind to helping others, nothing can stand in her way. After seeing firsthand just how badly the Union army needs medical supplies, Clara is determined to collect and deliver them into the thick of battle. She is also committed to assisting doctors in caring for thousands of suffering soldiers. That fearless dedication pays off as Clara Barton becomes one of the first women to receive permission to serve on a Civil War battlefield. And, it is at Antietam, during the bloodiest day in American history, that she rightly earns the name “Angel of the Battlefield.”

Illustrator's Note

While bringing to life this historical account of Clara Barton's effeorts at Antietam, I focused on showing the beauty of her dedication and care for all those she tended on and off the battlefield. My hope is that my illustrations show the light she brought to a dark time.

Clara's hands
'We made gruel, gruel, gruel...'

★ School Library Connection Starred Review

" Beautifully illustrated by Christopher Cyr, this picture book captures the “Angel of the Battlefield” with realism and power. Cyr is a master at showing contrast between light and darkness, conveying Barton’s ability to be an agent of hope in the midst of despair. Her practical ministrations providing food, lanterns, supplies, surgical assistance, and comfort are shown as life-changing during the 1862 Battle of Antietam. After the long night, the imagery of a lone surgeon in a field of dead soldiers watching Barton’s wagon as it rolls away from Sharpsburg to Washington 80 miles away is haunting. [...] This 32-page work makes a brilliant introduction to the Civil War for students of any age and demonstrates how one determined person can make a world of difference. "

★ Booklist Starred Review

" Toning down the gore only a little in his realistically modeled scenes, Cyr depicts Barton with a smudged face and bloodstained apron—not just directing her crew of helpers to set up beds and deliver meals to the wounded but cradling a soldier who is shot just as she is giving him a drink, holding an unconscious patient on a table rocked by exploding shells, and bucking up a surgeon who has succumbed to exhaustion and despair. An extended afterword that includes photos and further quotations adds biographical details and highlights Barton's long friendship with Frederick Douglass and her fervent support for both women’s suffrage and equal pay. Readers moved to learn more about this admirable figure will be well served by the closing list of resources. "

'A man lying upon the ground asked for drink.'
Clara Barton

• Perfect for students, classrooms, and libraries interested in a biographical picture book that dives into the Civil War and women who played a role in the war.

• Author Claudia Friddell blends her words with Clara Barton's firsthand account to capture the nurse's brave actions.

• Readers will enjoy this powerful tribute to Civil War nurse Clara Barton and her heroic efforts during the Battle of Antietam.


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