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With Every Drop of Blood Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Collier brothers ( My Brother Sam Is Dead ) here paint a strong, affecting picture of the Civil War era, of the grueling work and privations of the home front as well the chaos and carnage of the battlefield. When Pa is wounded in action in 1864 and comes home to die, he extracts a promise from Johnny, the book's 14-year-old narrator, to stay on their farm in Virginia and look after the family. But a few months after Pa's death, Johnny undertakes a dangerous mission to bring food into besieged Richmond--and maybe avenge his father's honor. Instead, he and the family's team of mules are captured by Blue Coats; even worse (to him), the soldiers are black, and the youth suffers the ignominy of taking orders from a former slave his own age, Cush Turner. At first Johnny takes advantage of his captor's kindliness, but ultimately he becomes friends with Cush and even saves his life. When the war ends, Cush and Johnny set off toward home together, the latter observing, "For sure it is going to be a long time before kids of slaves and kids of slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood," but adding that staying friends is worth a try. The sensitive treatment of this unlikely relationship recalls Patricia Calvert's equally fine novel, Bigger . Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-Like Patricia Beatty's Turn Homeward, Hannalee (Morrow, 1984) and Paul Fleischman's Bull Run (HarperCollins, 1993), this title gives readers a vivid portrayal of the Civil War. Johnny, 14, promises his dying father that he'll stay on their Virginia farm with his mother and younger sisters. The opportunity to strike a blow against the Union Army is irresistible, however, and the boy convinces his mother to let him join a wagon train carrying food to Confederate soldiers. He has been brought up to believe that all blacks are stupid; thus, when captured by a black Union soldier about his age who insists that Johnny teach him to read, he deliberately tricks him. Reaching the Union camp, Johnny is surprised when Cush saves him from imprisonment; as the novel concludes, he saves Cush's life. Richly drawn, the two boys exhibit many of the foibles found in people everywhere, and their developing friendship is believable. Authentic battle scenes add spice to the story. A two-page foreword discusses the use of the word "nigger" in the book. Sure to become popular.
Jo-Anne Weinberg, Greenburgh Public Library, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (December 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440219833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440219835
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
On his deathbed, Johnny's father made him promise not to go fight in the Civil War for the South but to take care of his mother and the little ones. Then, Johnny is offered 400 dollars to go on a mission to supply the Rebel troops with supplies. His family is suffering and he just can't say no. On the road, the wagon train is attacked and Johnny is captured by a black confederate soldier named Cush. Now he and Cush, though from different backgrounds, must become friends in order to get through the war. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written in a way that I felt like I was there watching it happen. The plot was full of surprises, but easy to follow and to the point. The characters were realistic of the time period in the way that they talked and acted. The book included real places and events from the Civil War such as City Point and Appomattox. These elements made the book very historically accurate.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really liked this book, even though I read it for school. I am a fan of historical fiction, and found it hard to put down! When I read it over for the test, I only put it down once! It gets even more suspense-filled when Johnny gets captured. It is a wonderful tale of the epic battle between the North and the South. In it, you can see the hard, cold emotions of war and the hostility toward blacks that was one of the primary reasons of the war.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 28, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What would you do if you were captured in the Civil War? Whould you make friends with your captor?

Johnny lives in Virginia during the troubling times of the Civil War. While battling for the Rebels,his Dad is shot and later dies at home.

In order for his family to survive, Johnny must take a dangerous job delivering goods to the Rebel army. As soon as the wagon train is underway, it is ambushed by a large number of Federal troops.

Although Johnny is one of the few lucky ones to still be alive,he is captured by the Federals and follows them through the war.

By reading the book, you will learn how Johnny struggles to stay out of Federal prisons with his mind set on returning home to his family.

I loved how this book not only showed the pysical hardships endured by the young people ate the time, but the mental ones as well.

I would recommed this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and also enjoys a wonderful book about friendship.

Christopher and James Lincoln Collier also wrote My Brother Sam is Dead.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every Drop of Blood is about the Civil War. A young boy decides to join a wagon train but their is a risk it is in the middle of the war. A black soldier from the Union army ends up captureing him. Even though one of them is black and the other is white they both find out that they have a lot of similar things about them. Towards the end of the book they become really good friends. They end up saving each others lives. This book is really good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marek Brzozowski (marek4d@hotmail.com) on December 7, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would recommend this book to others because it is very good. It also taught me some Civil War facts. The only thing I didn't like was it used a few swear words. The author did this to illustrate the language soldiers used in the Civil War. Other than that, it was a very good book.
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By Emma Ditman on February 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the most interesting book that I have ever read.

There's nothing wrong with the book.
I liked this book because of the speech and the dialogue.
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By Mstephens on October 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I made this purchase for our Language Arts Curriculum. If we have students that have a need to use our Kindles, this title will be available for them to use.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mallory Book Review!
I hurried outside. Ma had got the mules out of the harness and into the stalls.
"I'll do that, Ma. You go on in and tend to Pa."
"What did he want to tell you?"
"He made me promise to stay here and help with things."
"I figured that was it, " she said. "Did you promise?"
"Yes."
"I'm glad," she said. "It'd kill me to lose another one."

In the book With Every Drop of Blood by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, 14-year-old, Johnny, finds out his father dies after fighting in the war for three years. Johnny has to find a way to help his family, but he goes to fight in the war without his mother knowing. A black Union soldier captures Johnny. Somehow these two must find a way to conquer their differences and try to get along. On the way, they form an unlikely friendship that keeps growing each minute.
I think this book is mostly for boys, but girls will like it, too. It is good for boys because it has a lot of action. It is good for girls because a friendship forms, as the story gets deeper and deeper into the plot. I think this is a good book for children 10 and older.
By Mallory
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