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The Storm Before Atlanta Hardcover – December 28, 2010
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We're also introduced to to two other key characters, whose lives will become intertwined with Jeremy's: Dulcie, a spunky and very bright slave girl who runs away from her cruel mistress to find the Union Army, and eventually becomes a medic for a Union field doctor, and a friendly young Confederate soldier, Charlie Jackson, just a bit older than Jeremy, who's looking to trade for coffee or anything else.
War isn't as black and white as Jeremy had imagined back home. Jeremy knows that Charlie shouldn't really be his friend, but he's hungry for company his own age.Read more ›
Upon joining the Federalist forces as a drummer boy, Jeremy befriends Charlie, a young Secesh (Confederate) soldier and Dulcie, a contraband (escaped) slave. The three resemble the dynamic of Mark Twain's memorable trio - Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Jim. Schwabach divides the book's focus in order to give the reader a taste of the time period from different viewpoints. Jeremy, an innocent, now has seen the elephant (witnessed the death of others during battle). Charlie, a poor Southerner, is questioning the basis of fighting so that rich plantation owners can retain their labor force. Dulcie, a newly-freed slave, is discovering the world of possibilities open to her as a paid medic for the Union forces. The shifting worldviews of such a pivotal time in American history are shown in the thoughts and actions of Federalist, Confederate and former slave. The educational value for young readers is immeasurable.
They are all heading toward the burning of Atlanta so memorably portrayed in "Gone With the Wind.Read more ›
Jeremy wants to be like the hero in a song he has heard, about a boy who dies in battle and everyone surrounds him with prayers and tears. He wants to be like him, whether he dies or not! So, young as he is, he signs up as a drummer boy. Then he finds out what REAL war is.
Meanwhile, Dulcie, a slave girl who has run away, helps a doctor out on the field as a medic. Her life entertwines with Jeremy's; her wisdom counteracts his innocence.
This story is different than most war stories; it reveals several shocking discoveries about Jeremy's messmates and the "enemy" boy he has befriended.
The author writes this book in more of an informal way, which keeps it moving well. It is clean; there are very few swear words--other than "Hell-Hole," used several times--and definitely no "hell" or "damn" as most war stories use. Everything seems factually correct.
You will enjoy this story, and find it very interesting!
But every time he tries to join the army to be a drummer boy so that he can achieve his dream of heroic death, he is told eleven is too young. Finally, he decides to leave New York, head south and try again. This time, he succeeds in joining New York's 107th. When he finally achieves his dream, he learns that battle was not what he dreamed it to be.
He befriends a young runaway slave who has also joined New York's 107th as a medic. Dulcie's outlook on the war is very different from Jeremy's. Also eleven, she has "seen the elephant," a thing which Jeremy longs for. Highly intelligent, Dulcie understands the horrors of war, as well as the horrors of slavery, and longs to see the end of both.
Jeremy also makes friends with a young Confederate, Charlie. Charlie is two or three years older, but is always friendly to Jeremy. Jeremy learns a lot about slavery and the South from him, but Charlie as a larger secret...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While studying the Civil War, this title came up and I'm glad it did. A great story for anyone 10 and up with an interest in history.Published 22 months ago by Me
Good plot with excellent historical details. It kept the boys engaged, and they learned a lot too---great for a classroom.Published on July 10, 2013 by E. Julian
This was a phenomenal novel. As an adult, I enjoyed every page of it. I fear, however, that the topic of slave master getting slave pregnant is not a developmentally appropriate... Read morePublished on September 9, 2012 by Pen Name