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So what did YOU do during Covid?

So what do you do when the world shuts down with a new disease?  In my case, I revised my first book, Roots for Kids: A Genealogy Guide for Young People, creating a third edition that incorporated all the changes in online research since the second edition.  And then I gave it a companion book for people who want to begin genealogy just by collecting their family stories (hopefully leading them to want more!) This new book is Roots for Kids: Finding your family stories and both are available from Genealogical Publishing.  The companion title was special fun to put together.  It captured something that I had not ever put in writing--the stories I use when I visit schools and talk about family history.  I like to share stories from my own family in order to show that all families have stories and this book is just an expanded school talk (okay, very expanded!) with the best of all the stories I like to share.

Hannah's War


Fourteen year old Hannah Scholten has a problem. The problem is her father who refuses to recognize she is growing up. Yes, she is afraid of everything. Yes, she couldn't even stay in the room when her baby brother was born and help the midwife. But Papa is the problem, and with her older brother off at war, he is punishing her by making her do all the farm chores. But then the family gets a telegram. Hannah's brother, Jacob, has been shot in a battle right here in Pennsylvania, at Gettysburg. Of course Mama and Papa will want to go care for Jacob and she will be able to prove how mature she is by handling the farm. But it is too soon for Mama to travel. And Papa is cruel in his comments: "Do you think I'd trust you to take care of the farm while I was gone?"


In a moment of anger, Hannah finds her courage and runs away from home to care for her older brother. Arriving at Gettysburg, that courage deserts her when she confronts the stench of rotting, unburied horses on the battlefield, the scavengers picking over the bodies and the horrible smells of the hospital tents. But she manages to control her stomach (most of the time) and take care of her brother. Circumstances finally force her to grow up when she meets a wounded Confederate soldier and becomes his friend. Hannah is changing in spite of herself, learning that the world is more complicated than she had thought. But will that be enough to make her face Papa?

The Buckle

Will is no longer the happy young man he was, in spite of his dad's great gift of a metal detector. His parents' divorce is putting him on the divorce merry-go-round. The solution will come from the most unlikely event when he discovers a Civil War artifact while metal detecting. How can a Civil War buckle help him deal with his very modern problem? Solving the buckle's riddle will give him back his dad.