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The Battle Hymn Blues [Kindle Edition]

Baker Lawley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $9.00 (69%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

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Kindle Edition $3.99  
Paperback $10.64  
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Book Description

Dozens of reviews and a 4.7 star rating! Some reviewers say:
"A Southern Gothic gem."
"I could not put it down!"
"The plot is interesting, the characters are endearing, and the setting and imagery is extraordinary, no matter what the reader's age or gender. "
"An incredible novel about the power of the human spirit and the power of love."

About the book:

Stoney Nix can play anything, from Beethoven to the Blues, on his old rattletrap piano. It’s just a gift, and a good one. Music is his ticket out of Pinewood, Alabama, his ironic, dying hometown, where they reenact the Civil War but cancel marching band because it’s too small.

Then Sadie Green, the hilarious and beautiful new girl (and Stoney’s major crush), convinces him to fight in the fake Civil War battle. What happens there will haunt Stoney forever—and only through voices of the past, struggle, friendship, and his music, will Stoney find himself.

A young adult-paranormal-gothic-comedy-romance, The Battle Hymn Blues is a story filled with ghosts and pranks, music and mystery. It’s a love song to the blues we all share, how the past and the future and happiness have the strangest ways of finding you.


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)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007OVUJ0O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #996,663 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for any age or gender June 18, 2012
By fins76
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Explosively accurate high school drama 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and unpredictable coming-of-age story June 5, 2012
By JCS
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, wonderful story!! 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
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! What a sweet, make-you-think page turner April 6, 2013
By Ruby
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern gem
Fantastic book! Captures the excitement and unbridled dreams of small town teenagers, while also underlying the tremendous ennui that exists there. Read more
Published 9 months ago by PLAla
2.0 out of 5 stars every one has a story to tell
Everyone has a story to tell, and this one was ok. I like the humor, but did not appreciate the swearing. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Battle Hymn Blues
This was definitely a page turner! I loved the was the main character's thoughts were brilliantly described, his ability to hear the world as music notes. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Debbie Leone
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for teens/youths
I received this book for free for my unbiased review. This was a great book geared for the youth audience. It seemed geared to male youths of today and was very well written. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Survivor 1
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
It took a bit to get into the story. It was interesting to think of someone hearing life though music, but I was disappointed it wasn't more of a civil war story.
Published 21 months ago by S. Lopardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Book was easy read. Light reading for relaxing next to a pool or sitting in a park. Please read it.
Published on March 15, 2013 by growthnurse
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read That Sticks With You
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book and it turned out to be one of the best books I read in 2012. The voice was fresh and unique... Read more
Published on February 14, 2013 by Jessica M - Narnia Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wrinkle in Time...
...was the last book that affected me the way this one did. With a roller coaster ride from monotony to despair to complete triumph. Read more
Published on August 19, 2012 by Scott R.
4.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly optimistic
I picked up this book while it was free for Kindle; I feel like I should pay for it retroactively. It's well-written, basically free of errors in punctuation and spelling (a huge... Read more
Published on July 16, 2012 by GioGio
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
This book was out of my normal genre, but I saw the high reviews and thought I would give it a go. I liked the writing style and humor the author brought and the story seemed very... Read more
Published on July 4, 2012 by Jean Kelley
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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

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