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Bull Run Paperback – March 31, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The story follows the narratives of sixteen people. Some are black. Some are white. Some are men fighting against the South and some are women fighting against the North. Each voice is distinguished from its fellows and tells its own very particular tale. Sometimes these voices repeat within the book. Other times, they speak thrice and then vanish without a trace. People die, others survive, and some just linger on the sidelines. Most stories, however, end up at the Battle of Bull Run. Fleischman deftly weaves together historical facts with fictional characters to provide an honestly interesting view of the entirety of the Civil War encapsulated in a single book.
There are many similarities between this title and "Soldier's Heart" by Gary Paulson. Of the two, however, "Bull Run" is the more interesting book. "Soldier's Heart" just follows a single soldier. It's more a kind of "Red Badge of Courage" than a multi-person point-of-view. This is where Fleischman has the advantage. At the end of this book, he includes the page numbers of each character. If readers would like to perform this book as a kind of Readers' Theater, this is how they can do so. Likewise, if you've a child that needs to deliver a monologue, I can think of no better resource than this book for them. That's all "Bull Run" is anyway. Monologue after monologue after monologue.
There's no monotony, though. Fleischman expertly picks out the most interesting aspects and characters of the war (that are appropriate for child readers to meet) and displays them before our eyes. I was much attached to the livery cab driver Edmund Upwing, who brings rich residents out to the hills above Washington D.C. to watch the battle like a football game. Ditto photographer Nathaniel Epp who acts the ultimate profiteer, making money out of death and destruction. If there are lessons to be learned from this book, they probably boil down to, "War is Hell", and that's that. Fleischman is just as willing to show the tawdry side of Northerners as he is Southerners. A wonderful look at two sides of a oddly viewed controversy.
"Bull Run" is a far cry from bug poetry. Just the same, it's a well-written take on a difficult time. I wouldn't mind saying that certain characters in this book should be required reading in schools. Kids could pick who they wanted to read. Then they could read the opposite point of view. Few books offer as much.
You will notice that most of the story revolves around the march of troops to Bull Run. There are a lot of battles in this book. The battles usually revolve around the battles between the attack on Fort Sumter and the battle at Bull Run.
Characters like Colonel Oliver Brattle, Shem Sugs, and Carlotta King were from the south. Other characters like Lily Malloy, Gideon Adams, and A.B. Tilbury were from the north. Though these characters were seperated by the north and the south they had some of the same interests of either to stop war or going into war.
As you read through the book you start to see the personality of each character, some of the personalities you can relate to. Dr. William Rye has a careless personality in some of the story. Toby Boyce has a independent personality along with a kids personality. Hopefully you will find a character that has a personality that best fits you. I think that Im most like Virgil Peavey.
In my own opinion this novel is a good buy. Its my favorite book of 2006 and maybe 2007. It has great detail of the battle of Bull Run and is great for schools, but that is my own opinion. The characters use a lot of additives, and similes. This is a great book for silent reading at home or at school.
This book also contains information on what it was like for the soldiers who fought during the civil war, and what it was like to have a family member in the civil war. Not only does give that information but it gives information on famous leaders of the Civil War and information on famous battles during that time.
One thing about the book that makes it so special is that it can be used in a readers theater. You can have certain people do certain parts. Another reason why this book is so special is because after you read even a sentence, it will make you want to read on until you reach the end of the book.
If you don't like to read about the Civil war, this is still a good book to read. It still relates to recent wars, and problems that must be overcome everyday. An example of this is when Toby Boyce said he could play a fife, though he didn't know how, just because he wanted to enter the war. That example talks about how sometimes we lie to get what we want most.
Just to encourage your buying of this book I have decided to add some text entries from the book. Toby Boyce: "I was eleven years old and desperate to kill a yankee before the supply ran out." Gideon Adams: "To be a Negro living in the midst of whites, unknown to them, is to be a ghost spying among the living." Hopefully this entries encourage you to buy this book.
If you do not want to buy this book, check out other books by Paul Fleischman like the Borning, Saturnalia, and Joyful Noise. Thank you for reading my review.
I thought that the book was an interesting way to read about the Civil War. I was able to easily read it and it held my interest. My favorite character was Toby Boyce. He is an eleven year old boy from the South. He joins the war by pretending he is a musician.
I would recommend this book to anyone who needs some information about the Civil War. I think that teenager readers and up would get the most out of this book.
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