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The Battle Hymn Blues Kindle Edition

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Baker Lawley has worked as a septic system tester, a lifeguard, a school uniform salesman, an editor, a freelance writer, and currently as a Professor of Creative Writing and English. He is an award-winning writer of young adult novels, short stories, and writing guides, with stories published in prestigious literary journals like Copper Nickel, The Cream City Review, Eleven Eleven, and The Southeast Review. Baker lives with his wife and daughter and a very lazy hounddog in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can follow Baker, contact him, and get a free ebook at his website, www.bakerlawley.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 906 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ECRH Press (March 25, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 25, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007OVUJ0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,832 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Baker Lawley has worked as a septic system tester, a lifeguard, a school uniform salesman, an editor, a freelance writer, and currently as a Professor of Creative Writing and English. He is an award-winning writer of young adult novels, short stories, and writing guides, with stories published in prestigious literary journals like Copper Nickel, The Cream City Review, Eleven Eleven, and The Southeast Review. Baker lives with his wife and daughter in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

You can follow Baker and contact him at his website, www.bakerlawley.com.

Sign up for Baker's email list and get FOUR FREE EBOOKS! Visit http://www.bakerlawley.com/contact

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By fins76 on June 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A friend recommended this book to me and though I am 36, and the novel is for young adults, I decided to give it a try. Before reading the novel, I was leery of two things: 1) I'm not normally a fan of paranormal or supernatural elements. I feel they've been over-used of late, 2) I don't like the way most authors try to "explain" the South to wider audiences, detailing minutiae rather than just painting a picture of the culture. However, this book proved both concerns to be invalid.

Baker Lawley takes the time to craft a portrait of the South through character insights, plot elements and wonderful imagery. Readers are introduced to Civil War re-enactments, biscuits at a country store, kudzu, small-town gossip and small-town loyalty, without being beaten over the head with the idea that these things exist just "because it's the South." It's not trite, cliche, or overwrought...It's just a great story that happens to be set in Alabama.

The paranormal elements of the story are also well-used. The supernatural occurrences are believable and serve a purpose by offering unique insight into the protagonist and the players around him.

But, my absolute favorite part of this novel was Stoney's voice. While reading, I found myself wishing I'd known a kid like this in high school, and when I was done reading, I had that sense of loss...You know, when you enjoy a character so much that you kind of miss being in their head when the book is done. I missed Stoney Nix, and it's been awhile since I've encountered a character in a novel that I enjoyed so much.

In conclusion, while I would certainly recommend the book to any young readers, I recommend it just as strongly to adults as well. The plot is interesting, the characters are endearing, and the setting and imagery is extraordinary, no matter what the reader's age or gender.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lolackey on March 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The Battle Hymn of Stonewall Nix by Baker Lawley is an YA novel perfectly targeted at young male readers - a demographic which teachers like me agree is under served. Protagonist Stonewall Nix is the son of a rabid Civil War demonstrator in the sleepy town of Pine Bough. He and his best friend Clyde, an African American high school football star who also happens to play in the marching band, lazily contemplate the LCDs - lowest common denominators - of high school and the One More Reason's why life in their dying old lumber mill town sucks. Then, just as the Board of Ed is getting ready to cut marching band from the curriculum, the new girl comes to town. Motivated by teen lust, a shared love of, of all things, marching band and American history, and Sadie's red hair, Stoney decides to join his father's re-enactors for the first time to impress the girl. Lawley's book embraces the awkwardness of high school, reaffirms the importance of having a sense of place, and, most importantly, is a love song to the blues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JCS on June 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
"The Battle Hymn Blues" by Baker Lawley is an excellent coming-of-age book. I just finished it on my Kindle and it was hard to put down. I loved that I enjoyed it at the beginning but it got even better after a major event about halfway through the book. After that, it was surprising and interesting to see the main character's thoughts and dealings with his life in his small town and his desires to leave. As a product of a similar small town in the south myself, I really enjoyed the small town characters and descriptions of small town life and events. Great novel! Can't wait to read more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SK on October 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really am not sure what distinguishes Young Adult fiction--because this book could be read by any age. But it does transport a person back to a time when first love, friendship and being in high school were the biggest part of life--and yet so much more was going on. I love this book for capturing that. For making lumps in my throat, for putting into words, things that seem unable to be written, for giving the characters depth and humor that makes them wise beyond their years (just like we were!) What I love most, and what was most surprising is when magic realism entered the story in the best way--it was just part of the experience and nothing about it seemed strange. In fact is was so perfect and perfectly subtle that it created a kind of bigger universe to the small town story and made me feel like I was part of something. The main character is down-to-earth, funny, sarcastic and his best friend and girlfriend are too (his girlfriend is tough!)--the world evolving around them is filled with joy and sorrow, ghosts and public school budget cuts, dream-travel and civil war reenactments. As a reader, you are on the journey and at the end, it is just one of those books you want to stay in...as I knew the pages were coming to an end, I started slowing down savoring the last little bit of that world. Good thing Baker Lawley just started a new trilogy This Is The Play (Such Sweet Sorrow Trilogy, Book 1) so I could start reading a new book of his!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lexie Smith on February 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book you just can't put down. I cannot wait for my musician son to read it too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruby on April 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm from Alabama, a small town that does hold Civil War reenactments, so perhaps that is one reason why this book particularly resonates with me. It is such a fascinating reflection on the role of history in creating culture- the importance of knowing your history, but not making the past your future. The crucial need to get the facts right, and not romanticize it. And it's about living through music, biracial friendship and trying to escape where you're from... This book is filled with so many thought-provoking, discussion-starting issues that ask more questions than they answer. And it's all wrapped up in a utterly compelling story about growing up in a small southern town, dealing with tragedy, struggling parents, creating your own identity, finding true friends that challenge and support you and taking responsibility to make your own community better. I don't know how the author manages to take what could be a tragic story and make it terribly sweet, funny, thought-provoking and uplifting.
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