Middle-Grade Civil War Adventure

Avery's Battlefield

Avery’s Battlefield by Deanna Klingel


I’ve had the pleasure of reading several of Deanna Klingel’s books, and I’m always amazed at the author’s versatility. Her books range from picture books to teen novels, from historical to more contemporary. But all her stories have one thing in common—they are always thoroughly enjoyable.

Avery’s Battlefield is a sweet historical novel for middle school students. The story follows two years in the life of Avery, a young teen boy, during the Civil War. This book would be a great way to introduce kids to that tumultuous time in American history. There were many historical elements that young readers would find interesting, from the rudimentary medical techniques to the rural ways of life in the mid-1800s. I even learned a bit about the founding of West Virginia.

When young Avery must step up to help his family by trekking across the state of Virginia, he embarks on the journey of a lifetime. Readers will thoroughly enjoy journeying along with Avery and his dog, Gunner, as they make their way across the war-torn state, encountering numerous adventures along the way. While parts of the story seemed a little far-fetched, it was a sweet tale full of interesting facts and unique characters. This book would make an excellent supplement for a history lesson about the conflict between the North and the South.


Avery’s Battlefield, by Deanna K. Klingel, is a historical fiction novel for young adults about a boy, a dog, and their search for peace in the first years of the Civil War. Avery and his dog, Gunner, have a good life in Kanawha Valley―a loving family, a prosperous farm, and a warm community of friends. But when the long unrest between the North and the South ignites into war, Avery’s peaceful world is shattered. His father, brother, and uncle leave home, each drawn away by the war. Soon Avery and Gunner must begin a dangerous journey that will take them across the paths of people on both sides of the struggle.

Author: Leslea Wahl

Leslea Wahl is an award-winning author of Catholic teen adventurous mysteries. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her family. Leslea believes one way to encourage teens in their faith is through positive messages and Catholic values, embedded in great stories. She is excited to share her reviews of some incredible Catholic books, all of which have received the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval. Find her online at LesleaWahl.com