A trio of seventh graders become one another's first friends as they discover the secrets of a Civil War soldier in this middle grade novel for fans of Gordon Korman and Jack Gantos.
Twelve-year-old Oliver Prichard is obsessed with the Civil War. He knows everything about it: the battles, the generals, every movement of the Union and Confederate Armies. So when the last assignment of seventh-grade history is a project on the Civil War, Oliver knows he'll crush it--until he's partnered with Ella Berry, the slacker girl who does nothing but stare out the window. And when he finds out they'll have to research a random soldier named Private Raymond Stone who didn't even fight in any battles before dying of some boring disease, Oliver is sure he's doomed.
But Ella turns out to be much more interesting than Oliver expected, and Oliver's lunch buddy Kevin Kim comes to their project's rescue as head writing consultant. Things seem to be going pretty okay until Oliver discovers some big secrets buried in the past--and the present. Oliver knows he can unravel the mystery. But as he keeps digging, he has to decide if it's worth blowing up the project--and his newfound friendships--in order to discover the truth.