Over his mother's objections Robert Henry Hendershot has joined the Union Army as a drummer boy. He wants to see battle and capture a confederate soldier -- but his company commander says he's too young and removes him from the pontoon carrying troops across the Rappahannock to face the rebels at Fredericksburg.
Can Robert find a way to become a hero?
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Gr. 2-4. In this Ready-for-Chapter book in the Brave Kids: True Stories from America's Past series, Goodman introduces Robert, one of the more than 10,000 underage boys who sneaked into uniform during the Civil War. After defying his mother and running away, Robert, 12, became a drummer for the Union army. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, he proved himself a hero, risking his life and even capturing a rebel soldier. His story was in the newspapers, and General Burnside and Abraham Lincoln publicly honored him. With a good deal of dialogue, the book is a quick read that will grab children with the fast-paced action of a boy at war, even as it fills in the decidedly non-glorious facts about the terrible defeat of the Union army at the battle that made Robert a hero.
It also raises some hotly debated issues about fact and fiction in children's literature. This is fiction, so all the rules about strict documentation don't apply. Right? Well then, why that word "True" in the series title? How "true" is this story? Goodman's entertaining, informal afterword addresses these questions. It seems quoting sources doesn't always work; a book written about Robert soon after the war bragged so much that Goodman decided she didn't always believe it. She "dreamed up" a lot, especially about Robert's thoughts and conversations; but she also says that, even though her hero was a real boy whose exploits were written up at the time, "history is really a combination of what happened and what people think happened." That's a statement to make us think. First the exciting story, then the laidback commentary: together they make this a good springboard, even for older readers, for talking about history, story, truth, and the meaning of war. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Grade 1-4-A fictional account of the defining moment in the life of a 12-year-old drummer boy. The story opens as Robert joins the Union Army despite his widowed mother's misgivings. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, he sneaks into a group of soldiers who are ferreting out Confederate sharpshooters. Despite his youth, he takes a prisoner and becomes the hero of the day. His bravery brings him to the attention of President Lincoln. An extensive afterword provides additional information about the real Hendershot, and about the nature of history. Adventure and a youthful point of view keep this story moving right along. The Civil War background combined with pencil illustrations of the boy's experiences result in effective historical fiction for beginning chapter-book readers.
Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Aladdin Library, 2003. Library Binding. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Lightest of shelf/storage wear. SHIPS WITHIN 24 HOURS! Tracking Provided. DHL processing & USPS delivery for an average of 3-5 Day Standard & 2-3 Day Expedited! FREE INSURANCE! Fast & Personal Support! Careful Packaging. No Hassle, Full Refund Return Policy!. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000079654