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Escape by Night: A Civil War Adventure Hardcover – June 7, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The succinct and simply written narrative will appeal to reluctant and younger-grade readers while the full-page black-and-white pen-and-ink sketches provide the visual time and epoch setting of the story. (School Library Journal)

A genuine young hero learns the meaning of friendship, loyalty and freedom in this suspenseful Civil War vignette. (Kirkus Reviews)

Sharp historical fiction, adeptly streamlined for reluctant readers. (Publishers Weekly)

This quick and exciting chapter book isn't shy about advancing a moral message but does so with a light touch, allowing Tommy to arrive naturally at his convictions. (Booklist)

About the Author

Laurie Myers is the author of several well-received books for intermediate readers, including Lewis and Clark and Me and collections of stories that she collaborated on with her mother Betsy Byars and sister, Betsy Duffey: My Dog, My Hero; Dog Diaries; and Cat Diaries. Ms. Myers lives with her family in Augusta, Georgia.

Amy June Bates has illustrated many books for children, including The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest and Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight by Kathleen Krull. She graduated from Brigham Young University and now lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805088253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805088250
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurie Myers is the award-winning author of chapter books for children, including Surviving Brick Johnson, an ALA Notable book, and Lewis and Clark and Me, winner of the Pennsylvania Children's book award and Honor book for Michigan. Her books have been on the International Reading Association's Children's Choice, Teachers' Choice and Parents' Choice lists, as well as Junior Library Guild selection and many state master lists and nominations for the Crown Award.

She has collaborated with her sister, Betsy Duffey and her mother Betsy Byars on several popular books, which have been nominated for many state awards and won the Oregon, Louisiana, and South Carolina children's book awards.

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her husband, their dog, Samson and their cat, Venus.

www.lauriemyers.com
www.writingsisters.com

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Tanenbaum VINE VOICE on June 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This beginning chapter book provides an exciting Civil War story suitable for readers in second to fourth grade. When a wagon full of wounded Confederate soldiers rolls into their Georgia town, Tommy notices a small notebook belonging to one of the soldiers falling out of the wagon, and sends his faithful greyhound dog Samson into the street to fetch it. Tommy's father's the minister of the local Presbyterian church, which has been turned into a makeshift hospital, filled with "a heavy, over-towering smell of death."

Tommy's desire to return the notebook to its owner leads him to make a new friend among the wounded soldiers, Red. Tommy realizes there's something different about Red, and it's not just that he treats Henry, a slave working in the hospital, with respect. Tommy's determined to find out the truth about this soldier. Although he talks to Tommy and Henry, he won't talk to any of the white adults. Could his strange accent mean that he's really a Yankee?

Although this book is written for early elementary school readers, the author weaves in many serious issues. Because of his discussions with Red, Tommy begins to question the morality of slavery, and the meaning of friendship, loyalty, and mercy. Should he turn Red in, in which case he'll be sent to a horrible prison camp, or help him escape? There's plenty of suspense, too, for young readers, and a happy ending appropriate for the age group.

The book includes a brief author's note, explaining that the book is based on the story of the young Woodrow Wilson, who as a boy was known as Tommy. Although the story is fictional, the young Woodrow Wilson lived across the street from the First Presbyterian Church, where his father was pastor, and which became a hospital during the war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This short chapter book is set during the Civil War time period. Tommy and his sister Annie are the main characters. Their father is a preacher and a hospital for wounded soldiers is set up in the church building. Tommy and Annie become friends with a soldier that is there. That solider has a secret, he is a Yankee solider in hiding! They have to decide if it's best to keep it a secret or tell their father.
This book is full of action. I would recommend this to kids that like to read about the Civil War time period.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My girls (2nd and 3rd grade) LOVE this book. It's a bit gory in the first chapter to set the scene, but after that it's a simple, mystery/adventure plot. Perfect intro to Civil War study for early elementary students. My 2nd grader is so proud that she can read it herself!
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By Carol Davis on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my grandson, but decided to read it first. I was pleasantly surprised. It is a great story and brings the Civil War to life. It's books like these that can bring history to life for students. Good book!
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