Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Amanda MacLeish might be the only student in Mr. Abrams’s fifth-grade class who doesn’t mind doing her homework. Now that her father has left home and moved into a motel, the only thing that brings Amanda any joy is writing her fictional diary entries about a young girl named Polly who lives amid the chaos of the Civil War. Polly would understand Amanda. With one brother fighting for the North and one fighting for the South, Polly knows just how it feels to have a family split in half. But if the North and the South could find a way to reunite despite their differences, can’t Amanda’s family do the same?
In this touching novel by Claudia Mills, the heroine learns that enduring a split doesn’t have to mean losing a family.The Totally Made-up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.