Welcome to the How I Found the Strong website.

We've designed this website to give you more information about the American Civil War and the life and times of Shanks Russell.

Did you know that Robert E. Lee traveled with a pet hen that laid one egg under his cot every morning? Check out FACTS and you'll also learn that about 500,000 soldiers died during the Civil war.

In WEAPONS you can get a good look at the weapons of war - the kinds of canons Shanks hears from his farm, the muzzle-loading rifles equipped with bayonets which he wanted more then anything for a while, and the "minie" balls that he hears whizzing past him during battle.

In FOOD, learn how soldiers made do with what they had. Maybe you'll want to try out some of the recipes for hardtack, boiled milk rolls, bean pie, and pickled pigs feet.

You'll also find discussion questions and a portion of the manuscript which helped inspire me to write How I Found the Strong.

Still can't figure out what a chinquapin or a maypop is? Look up terms from the novel in the GLOSSARY provided. LINKS will lead you to more websites with information about the Civil War.

I hope this website helps you learn and better understand more about my novel and one of the most interesting and complex periods in American history.

Let me know your thoughts.

Margaret McMullan
Email: mm44@evansville.edu

Learn about Margaret's other books at www.margaretmcmullan.com.

* Winner Indiana Best Young Adult Book of Fiction 2004.

* Winner 2005 Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for Fiction.

* Booklist's Top Ten First Novels for Youth.

* Notable Social Studies Book 2005.

* Unanimously voted a "Great Book" by the state of Maryland Book Consortium, 2004.

* Nominated for 2005 Capital Choice Award and ALA's Best Books for Young Adults.

* Nominated for the 2005-06 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award in Vermont.

* Evansville, Indiana's One Book/One Community Youth selection 2004.

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