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Megiddo's Shadow Hardcover – October 10, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 7 Up–An engrossing and thought-provoking story of a young man fighting in World War I. Upon learning of his brother's death at the German front, 16-year-old Edward Bathe lies about his age and enlists, leaving Canada and his father's farm for England. When he injures himself training a horse, he meets Emily Waters, an army nurse. Their relationship progresses through letters when Emily transfers to the front. A move from the infantry to the yeomanry starts Edward's war in earnest, but his plans to avenge his brother's death are altered when he is sent to Palestine to fight the Turks. Soldiers die from the heat and disease, horses fall in action, and friends die in battle. The young man's faith in God and in humanity are shaken, and he returns to Canada injured in body and spirit. All of the characters are fully realized, from Edward, a church-going innocent, to his Uncle Nix, a friend of the family and an army colonel who spouts platitudes about people in the Empire having to dig in and give but who honestly believes what he says. Edward's camaraderie with his tent mates keeps him reasonably sane until he discovers that one of them enjoys killing. Megiddo's Shadow is the perfect book to have on hand for the ever-popular historical-fiction assignment, but don't purchase it for only that reason. Buy it because it is a powerful book that needs to be read.–Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After his older brother is killed in World War I, a devastated 16-year-old Edward cares for the family farm while his depressed father lays mute in bed. In his pain and anger, Edward vows to continue his brother's fight and help defeat the Huns. Lying about his age, he enlists in the Canadian army and is shipped to England to embark on his tour of duty. There he is transferred to a cavalry unit destined to fight the Turks and begins a tentative romance with a young nurse. Edward's coming-of-age story culminates in the plains near Megiddo, the ruins of King Solomon's city, where it is said Armageddon will take place and Satan will "climb out of hell and gather his armies." Slade skillfully integrates the plot-driven war narrative with the more psychological underpinning of loss: loss of a loved one and loss of innocence. A solid addition to teen war fiction, this book expands the comparatively small body of realistic World War I novels for this age group. Holly Koelling
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books; Stated First Edition edition (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385747012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385747011
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,117,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Arthur Slade dedicates this novel to the memory of the five Slade men who served in World War I, his great grandfather, grandfather and great uncles. The dates of the youngest one jump out at the reader, "Private Percy James Slade, 1897-1918 (KIA.)

If my memory serves, I do not think there is a village or town in France and England that does not have a memorial to the fallen of The Great War. World War I does not loom as large in the memory of Americans. In Megiddo's Shadow, Slade takes the reader to a lesser known front of that war, to Palestine in the Middle East.

Sixteen-year-old Edward Bathe leaves his farm in Saskatchewan, Canada and joins the army after receiving the news that his beloved older brother Hector has been killed in France. All he wants to do is get to the front and kill the Hun who took his brother's life but upon arrival in England he is transfered to the Fifth Imperial Remount unit to break horses. He chafes at the assignment but does meet a horse who will be part of his future when he is reassigned to the Lincolnshire Yeomanry. Slade describes the role of these units on his website :

"Yeomanry were different than cavalry--they were trained to be foot soldiers and mounted soldiers. The idea was that they could ride quickly to their destination and dismount and fight. Or they could charge. They were even taught to get their horses to lay down, so they could use them as cover. The regiment was also trained to use the sword or lance in a charge."

Edward and his horse, Buke become part of the British Expeditionary Force in Palestine. The description of desert warfare is unforgettable.

"A month later, in July, I was sent to hell...

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Format: Hardcover
This is well-documented historical fiction from Canadian author Arthur Slade encompassing the lesser known topic (at least to Americans) of World War I across the globe and particularly at the Palestinian front. Sixteen-year-old protagonist Edward is devastated by the death of his older brother Hector who is killed in battle, under unclear circumstances. Edward's widowed father takes to his bed, unresponsive and unable to run his farm. Edward simply cannot abide running the farm accompanied by his internal and external miseries. He lies about his young age, joins the army in England, hoping to fight the Huns in France and avenge his brother's death. And what a story it is--on the front and behind the scenes with his beloved horse Megiddo. What keeps readers turning the pages are fascinating details to questions never thought to be asked regarding mundane intricacies of human nature unmasked, fleshing out not only the war's anguish, but Edward's coming-of-age anguish as well. Suitable for mature readers younger than YA who are looking for engaging historical fiction about war.
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Format: Hardcover
A sobering story, well told. It follows the journey of 16 year old Edward Bathe, from the Canadian prairie, who joins the army to fight the Huns in France in 1917. Instead, he finds himself in the cavalry on his way to the Middle East. The story is well researched, full of details about army life, and also chronicles the emotional turmoil and growth of Edward. There are a few twists in the story and Slade's writing propels the reader forward. While intended for the young reader, Megiddo's Shadow was very much enjoyed by this 'mature adult'.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story was amazing. It was as gritty as the terrain and time it spans. It follows a young boy, Edward Bathe, as he becomes a man. At sixteen, after the death of his older brother in the Great War, he runs away and joins up. He wants to be infantry just like his brother. But as soon as he arrives in England after basic training, he gets transferred to a mounted unit. He is not happy, especially when his unit ships out. But soon he finds himself on the way to war; he is shipping to British Palestine and the battle there.

The book is dedicated to five members of the Slade family who all fought in the Great War and only one did not come home. The story follows real battles and encounters during the war. It provides the family insight and possibly some family tales and legends, but even so, this story is an incredible read. As we follow young Bathe on a journey to war, he will find what it means to become a man. The writing was amazing and you will not be able to put the book down.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Art Slade plunges the reader into the shoes of Edward, a 16 year old who has just lost his revered older brother in the Great War. Edward lies about his age and enlists to avenge his brother's death. He quickly finds out that war is not as glamorous as he thought.

The historical detail is bang-on and Edward's day to day experiences are so real that the reader can practically feel the grit of sand in her teeth. There is much in this novel that is very mature but it's handled deftly. I found myself weeping many times as I suffered Edward's losses. A compelling read.
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