A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin is the fifteenth book in the Dear America series by Scholastic. It was written by Karen Hesse and first published in September 1997. The book was republished in March 2011 with new cover art.


"This book is dedicated to all Lightkeepers—past, present, and future—who kindle their lamps of hope against the darkness."

Book description

"Thursday, February 28, 1861
P. Cloudy. Wind N.W. Fresh.

Mr. Lincoln has arrived at last in Washington....In one week, he inherits the trouble of this great, unhappy country. In one week, the responsibility will be his—whether we come together again as a Union, or fall entirely to pieces. And here we sit, in Delaware, on the border between North and South, half the state holding slaves, half the state opposed to the practice....It is hard enough to hold a family together. Poor Mr. Lincoln. It is in his hands to hold a whole country....My hands are calloused and strong from rowing and working the ropes, from lifting and carrying barrels of oil and scrubbing stone floors and spiral stairs, but I do not know if they are strong enough to hold Mother and Father together. Mr. Lincoln's hands...they must be a thousand times stronger than mine. Please God, give Mr. Lincoln strong hands.

"My name is Amelia. This is my story....
Amelia Martin's father was stripped of his post as a ship's captain when he was caught harboring the leader of a slave rebellion. Now he is an assistant lighthouse keeper on Fenwick Island, off the coast of Delaware—a state wedged between the North and the South, just as Amelia is wedged between her parents. Amelia's mother blames her abolitionist husband for their living conditions, which she claims are taking a toll on her health. As the Civil War rages on, Amelia slowly learns that she cannot stop the fighting, but by keeping watch in the lighthouse each day, lighting the lamps, cleaning the glass, and rescuing victims of Atlantic storms, she can make a difference.



Main article: List of A Light in the Storm characters


Main article: Karen Hesse



"This book could not have been written without the assistance of Gladys Kennery, Wayne Wheeler of the U.S. Lighthouse Society, Paul Pepper, Tracy Mack, Jean Feiwel, Bernice Millman, Zoe Moffitt, Martha Hodes, Liza Ketchum, Bob and Tink MacLean, Eileen Christelow, Kate, Rachel, and Randy Hesse, Ken Black, The Library of Congress, Tim Harrison, Lorinda White, and Richard Shuldiner of the Brooks Memorial Library."


See also

v - e - dDear America

A Journey to the New World | The Winter of Red Snow | When Will This Cruel War Be Over? | A Picture of Freedom
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
West to a Land of Plenty | Dreams in the Golden Country | Standing in the Light | Voyage on the Great Titanic
A Line in the Sand | My Heart Is on the Ground | The Great Railroad Race | The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow
A Light in the Storm | Color Me Dark | A Coal Miner's Bride | My Secret War | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
Valley of the Moon | Seeds of Hope | Early Sunday Morning | My Face to the Wind | Christmas After All
A Time for Courage | Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Survival in the Storm
When Christmas Comes Again | Land of the Buffalo Bones | Love Thy Neighbor | All the Stars in the Sky
Look to the Hills | I Walk in Dread | Hear My Sorrow


The Fences Between Us | Like the Willow Tree | Cannons at Dawn | With the Might of Angels | Behind the Masks
Down the Rabbit Hole | A City Tossed and Broken

External links