Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



My Last Skirt: The Story of Jennie Hodgers, Union Soldier

My Last Skirt: The Story of Jennie Hodgers, Union Soldier

Spring 2006 Fiction
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Lynda Durrant
ISBN: 0618574905
Hardcover Price: $16.00
Review:
On Island Magee of Ireland, Jennie Hodgers doffs her skirt for a pair of her older brother Tom’s trousers. She wants to be a shepherd with her Da, and “girls” aren’t shepherd material. After their Da dies and stepmother deserts them, Jenny and Tom live in the local bishop's barn saving every penny for tickets to America. The bishop writes the pair introductions for jobs at Albert O’Banion’s Finest Groceries in Queens, New York and gives them enough money to secure passage.

Still disguised as a boy, Jennie changes her name to Georgie Hodgers and lives as a male in America, because she can earn more money that way. Tom, jealous of Jennie’s abilities, work ethic and earnings, blurts out that his brother Georgie is really his sister Jennie. Jennie runs away and works as a farmhand calling herself Albert Cashier until 1862 when she and a chum, Charlie, join the Illinois 95th, Company G, Infantry. She lives out the war as a Union soldier fighting with her company in many battles including the Battle of Vicksburg. Jennie Hodgers’ secret remained hers until 1911 when an accident sends her to the hospital. With her identity exposed, the story of Jennie Hodgers, “petticoat soldier,” unveils a life of courage, commitment and conflict.

Kemie Nix   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.


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