Book Review of Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg (American Civil War Adventure) By Margo Dill

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Five Star Review by Carmen Jeanne Otto (eight-years-old)

Anna was a really good character and she is trustworthy and thoughtful. She was always worried about her sister and brother. I thought a lot about journaling after reading Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg. If my mom died at a young age and had us, I would write down all the stuff I usually talk to her about and I would be really sad. I think it must have been hard for Anna. She is really strong; I admire her.

This book really kept my interest and I enjoyed reading it. Sometimes it was happy and sometimes sad, I really enjoyed the ups and downs. If I could ask the author, Margo Dill, any questions at all, I Would ask how she picked the title and then I would tell her how pretty the cover is. I would definitely tell my friends they should read Finding My Place.

Book Summary:

The civilian side of the war is shown from a young girl's viewpoint.

Thirteen-year-old Anna Green can hardly remember life before the War Between the States touched her hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi. for 47 days in May, June, and July 1863, the Union army bombs Vicksburg day and night, attempting to overtake the city. Anna longs for the days before Yankee bombs screeched above her, before her family was torn apart, and before they moved to a dark, damp cave to protect themselves from falling shells. During one terrible bombing, a tragedy strikes Anna and her siblings and changes their lives forever. Can Anna find the strength to keep her family together in the midst of war?

Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: White Mane Publishing Co. (October 2012)
ISBN-10: 1572494085
ISBN-13: 978-1572494084

About the author:

Hi! I’m Margo L. Dill, a children’s author, freelance editor, speaker, and writing teacher and coach. I am so happy you made it to my site! Here’s a little bit about me:

I am the author of three books for kids 3 to 18. They are:

Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies (Guardian Angel Publishing, August 2014): Picture book about a young girl who solves her grandma’s missing cookies case by finding clues, interviewing suspects & setting a trap.

Finding My Place: One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg (White Mane Kinds, October 2012): Middle-grade novel about a 13-year-old girl who survives with her family during the Siege of Vicksburg in 1863 (Mississippi).

Caught Between Two Curses (Rocking Horse Publishing, March 2014): Young adult novel about 17-year-old Julie Nigelson who is caught between a deadly curse on her family and the curse on the Chicago Cubs.

Besides these books, I’ve also been published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies, and I continue to write a weekly review column for The News-Gazette in Champaign, IL. I also blog on Tuesdays at The Lit Ladies blog and about three times a month at The Muffin at WOW! Women On Writing.

I am also a writing teacher for WOW! Women On Writing, where I teach novel writing and writing for children. You can check out those classes here. If you are in the St. Louis/St. Charles, Missouri area, I teach adult education novel writing courses for St. Charles School District Adult Education, which you can check out here. (Click on WRITING, and these classes are listed under my married name, Balinski.) I’ve done numerous workshops and reading nights around Missouri and Illinois for students, teachers, writers and community groups. To find out more about my speaking, please click on the speaking link above.

Besides speaking and writing, I am also an editor with my own business, Editor 911. I do work for both businesses and individual authors, focusing on copy editing, copy writing, proofreading and ghost writing.

This all keeps me pretty busy, but I also enjoy being a mom, the Missouri SCBWI webmaster, and a member of a MOPS Steering Team in St. Louis. I love reading, walking, playing with my dog, touring around St. Louis with my family, eating out, going to the movies and playing outside.

Find out more by visiting Margo online at:

Photo Courtesy of Olivia Brey of Oh! Photography
Today's Reviewer Bio:

Carmen just turned eight years old and lives on a dairy farm. She has over 200 animals on her farm. She has three siblings in her house: Andre (7), Breccan (1), and Delphine (2 months). Her parents are Mark and Crystal Otto. Carmen helps her mom with book and product reviews and you can find her blogging at Bring On Lemons (she would also like to add that the money her mom is paying her to write this book review will go directly into her savings account).


Crystal Otto said...

Thank you Carmen for this great review!
As Carmen's mom, it was exhilarating to hear the multitude of emotions she felt while reading "Finding My Place". She had questions about war and commentary about different events. "Finding My Place" was not only a well written book (yes, I read it myself too), but it also sparked some great conversation between Carmen and I.

Since "Finding My Place" was written from a child's perspective, it really brought the American Civil War to life for Carmen. It became more than just a history lesson or something that happened in the past. As she talked about the story, you could see her empathy for Anna and it was great to see Carmen getting pulled into the story.

Thank you Margo Dill for another great book!

Margo Dill said...

Thank you so much to Carmen for an amazing review! To answer her question, the title was chosen because in the book Anna really does try to find a place to live, but she is also trying to figure out where she fits in her family and even in the town of Vicksburg. So the title has two meanings. Then the publisher added the subtitle so readers would know it was set during the Siege of Vicksburg.

Thank you for the compliment on the cover--I think the artist did an amazing job!

Crystal: Thank you for your kind words and for sharing the book with your family.

Suzanne Pitner said...

Hi Margo!

Congrats on your new release! I saw the review today on AuthorSalon as well. I hope I see this on library bookshelves for many years to come!


Dawn Rayens said...

A very well versed review - exceptional for an 8 year old. I am extremely impressed with your insight of the book and your ability to relate the main character and her story to your modern life.


Margo Dill said...

Thank you, Suzanne.
I agree 100 percent, Dawn.

Marcia Peterson said...

Great job on the review by Miss Carmen! Congratulations to Margo on the new book, and the positive reviews from her young and adult readers. :)

SrtaMaestra said...

Nice job, Carmen! This sounds
like a book my girls would also enjoy.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top