Susan Campbell Bartoletti No Man's Land

ISBN 13: 9780590383714

No Man's Land

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9780590383714: No Man's Land
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Because he had been unable to fight off the gator that injured his father, fourteen-year-old Thrasher joins the Confederate Army hoping to prove his manhood and battles his own insecurities and fears while facing the grim realities of war.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Men go to war to vanquish enemies. Boys go to war to vanquish childhood. This piercing novel conveys both concepts as it explores the Civil War through the eager eyes of a 14-year-old Georgia boy, Thrasher McGee. The only way Thrasher can prove to his father that he's tough enough to fight 'gatorsAand anything elseAis to run away and sign up with the Confederate Okefinokee Rifles. At first, boredom threatens to bog down the company's morale; they're disappointed when they're too late for the big battle at Port Republic, Va. Then, Thrasher is astounded when he and the other young soldiers meet some Yankees in the woods who want to exchange coffee and play baseball between the fighting. But soon enough the war finds them: "Thousands of feet tramped. Thousands of tin cups clinked against thousands of cartridge belts. Ahead, the long columns of men wound as far as Thrasher could see.... Everywhere he looked he saw gray: gray morning mist, gray dust, gray men." Bartoletti (Growing Up in Coal Country) compellingly and carefully crafts her characters, especially the boys-turned-soldiers Thrasher, Baylor Frable and Tim LaFaye, building up their na?ve camaraderie right to the moment they enter the terrible adult conflict. She spins a history as fresh as the day it happened, told through the eyes of a boy who is too willing to claim adult responsibilities, far too soon. Ages 10-14. (May)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 5^-9. At 14, Thrasher Magee lies about his age and joins the Okefenokee Rifles to fight in the Confederate Army in 1861. For many young soldiers, like Thrasher's friend Baylor, war is a grand adventure, but Thrasher is driven by his need to prove his manhood to his father and himself. There is far less battlefield slaughter than in Gary Paulsen's Soldier's Heart (Booklist's 1998 Top of the List for Youth Fiction); the focus here is on the waiting, the boredom, and the bonds and bickering between the individual soldiers (one of whom turns out to be a girl). In a moving chapter, they arrive too late for a battle; their gruesome job is to bury the dead, and they are surprised by their horror and sorrow. Their fury at the Yankees is transformed when they meet individual enemy soldiers sneaking across the lines to bury their dead: the two sides talk, tease, and play cards. By the time they do fight, they are far less eager, though the screaming battle in which Thrasher loses an arm is the climax of the story. If Thrasher is sometimes too articulate about his fight for manhood, his final return home to his father's embrace is a melancholy closing that rings true. As in her great nonfiction photo-essay Growing Up in Coal Country (1996), Bartoletti grounds her story in careful historical research, and in an afterword she talks about her union of fact and imagination. Hazel Rochman

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780590383738: No Man's Land: A Young Soldier's Story

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ISBN 10:  0590383736 ISBN 13:  9780590383738
Publisher: Scholastic, Incorporated, 2000
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