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Charley Skedaddle-Patricia Beatty

  • Title: Charley Skedaddle
  • Author: Patricia Beatty
  • Released: 1987-10-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 186
  • ISBN: 0688066879
  • ISBN13: 978-0688066871
  • ASIN: 0688066879

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From Publishers Weekly Fighting is important to Charley Quinn, 12, a street-tough New York Bowery Boy who runs away from his Irish-Catholic home to join the Union forces in Virginia. But war proves much more horrible than he'd thoughtso terrible, in fact, that he deserts, giving himself the disparaging name "Skedaddle." Afterward, Charley takes refuge in the mountains with Granny Bent, a midwife with her own secret loyalties. This well-crafted, somewhat episodic novel makes the point that fighting brings honor, and cowardice, shame. The settingsfrom the Bowery, to the battlefield, to Granny's cabinare quite powerful. These, along with Charley's disillusionment and change, give this novel depth and make it one of Beatty's best. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal Grade 5-8 Twelve-year-old Charley Quinn loves the excitement and the gang fighting that are part of his life in New York City's Bowery in 1864. When his sister's fiance threatens to send him to an orphanage, Charley runs off with Union army enlistees and is taken on in Virginia as a drummer boy. Filled with the glory of war and a desire to avenge his brother's death at Gettysburg, Charley is a perfect soldier until his regiment does its first fighting at the Battle of the Wilderness. Charley shoots a Confederate soldier, then runs from the fighting in a panic, earning the nickname ``Charley Skedaddle'' from derisive soldiers. He is caught by a mountain woman, Granny Bent, and realizing his danger from both Union and Confederate soldiers, he stays on as her mute ``Boy,'' helping her with her chores. Over time Charley and Granny develop a strong friendship, and Charley learns from her, and through several events that test his mettle, that the greatest courageous acts are often done without an audience and for selfless reasons. Beatty brings history to life with thorough research, unusual characters and events, and fascinating historical detail. This book is a fine companion to her Turn Homeward, Hanna Lee (Morrow, 1984). Readers who enjoyed Keith's Rifles for Watie (Crowell, 1957) and William O. Steele's The Perilous Road (HBJ, 1954; o.p.) will appreciate Charley's quiet acceptance that there is no one ``right'' side to the war. Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. pdf
 
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