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The Tin Heart Cover art by Michael Hays ©2010

Karen Ackerman is the author of a number of books for children, including Song and Dance Man, which won the Caldecott Medal for 1989 as the most distinguished picture book of the year in the United States. Her first picture book for Atheneum was Araminta's Paintbox, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. She has also written dramatic works for both stage and film production.

Ms. Ackerman's interests include heraldic scholarship, art, and design; primative objects and pottery; and activities related to the rights of children and animals. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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The Tin Heart

by Karen Ackerman
illustrated by Michael Hays

Atheneum 1990

Mahaley Hutchison lived on one side of the Ohio River, and her friend Flora Scotchman lived on the other. Flora's father had made them a tin heart, and each girl wore half as a symbol of their friendship.

Every day, Mahaley crossed the river on her father's ferry boat, Belle of the Piont, and played with Flora until it was time to load up the passengers and wagons for the return trip. But when a war begins between the southern and northern states, Mahaley's father and Flora's father find themselves on opposite sides. The ferry stops running, and the girls are separated.

Yet the girls believe they will they will be together again, and their hope illuminates this satisfying story of how lives and friendships were torn apart in the Civil War.

The Tin Heart art by Michael Hays ©2010