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Charley Skedaddle [Paperback]

Beatty Beatty
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1996
Charley is a member of one of the toughest gangs in New York City. When his older brother is killed at Gettysburg, Charley vows revenge against the Confederates. So he joins the Union Army as a drummer boy.

Charley thinks war will be glamorous and exciting. But then he sees two of his friends gunned down mercilessly. When Charley shoots a Confederate soldier in self-defense, he knows he can't take any more killing. He "skedaddles" away from the battle, convinced he's a coward. Hiding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charley encounters the ultimate test of courage. Can Charley prove his mettle once and for all -- and restore his shattered self-image?


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Fighting is important to Charley Quinn, 12, a street-tough New York Bowery Boy who runs away from his Irish-Catholic home to join the Union forces in Virginia. But war proves much more horrible than he'd thoughtso terrible, in fact, that he deserts, giving himself the disparaging name "Skedaddle." Afterward, Charley takes refuge in the mountains with Granny Bent, a midwife with her own secret loyalties. This well-crafted, somewhat episodic novel makes the point that fighting brings honor, and cowardice, shame. The settingsfrom the Bowery, to the battlefield, to Granny's cabinare quite powerful. These, along with Charley's disillusionment and change, give this novel depth and make it one of Beatty's best. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8 Twelve-year-old Charley Quinn loves the excitement and the gang fighting that are part of his life in New York City's Bowery in 1864. When his sister's fiance threatens to send him to an orphanage, Charley runs off with Union army enlistees and is taken on in Virginia as a drummer boy. Filled with the glory of war and a desire to avenge his brother's death at Gettysburg, Charley is a perfect soldier until his regiment does its first fighting at the Battle of the Wilderness. Charley shoots a Confederate soldier, then runs from the fighting in a panic, earning the nickname ``Charley Skedaddle'' from derisive soldiers. He is caught by a mountain woman, Granny Bent, and realizing his danger from both Union and Confederate soldiers, he stays on as her mute ``Boy,'' helping her with her chores. Over time Charley and Granny develop a strong friendship, and Charley learns from her, and through several events that test his mettle, that the greatest courageous acts are often done without an audience and for selfless reasons. Beatty brings history to life with thorough research, unusual characters and events, and fascinating historical detail. This book is a fine companion to her Turn Homeward, Hanna Lee (Morrow, 1984). Readers who enjoyed Keith's Rifles for Watie (Crowell, 1957) and William O. Steele's The Perilous Road (HBJ, 1954; o.p.) will appreciate Charley's quiet acceptance that there is no one ``right'' side to the war. Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Drummer Boy May 18 2004
By Sam
Format:Paperback
A boy wants to avenge his brother's death so he goes to enlist but is too young and they tell him he can only go as a drummer boy. He goes and watches his friend get shot and runs to the mountains. He believes that he is a coward but something happens and he finds out he is not so much of a coward...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courage defined here! May 7 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is the best book I ever read! It's exciting, romantic, and expressive. It also teaches history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING March 29 2004
Format:Library Binding
This book was a wonderful adventure I shared with my 11 year old son. We read it together for school. It taught him about the civil war AND the plight of the Irish immigrant. He identified with Charlie. It was great fun watching charlie handle each new experience/adventure. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR CHILDREN LEARNING ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars charley Skedaddle June 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
i hated this book it was terrible! we had to read it for school it was like jail we were forced to read it i hate the book. so far it is so confusing and it is quite stupid, so if i were you i wouldnt read it at all. dont even pick up the book!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sheila's book review May 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"The boy looked on in horror as Jem dropped his musket, spread his arms wide, and crumpled onto the ground at the bottom of the gully. Jem? Jem dead? Dead in the early-afternoon light of such a warm spring day? It could not be. In Charley's brain something howled "No!"

In Patricia Beatty's Scott O' Dell Award winning novel, Charley Skedaddle, 12-year old Charley is left with the sad memory of his brother's death in the war. So, Charley decides to sneak into the war to avenge his brother's death. He becomes a drummer boy and learns the job from his friend Jem Miller. But all the while he plans to throw down his drum and go the battlefield to fight in the war. But the first time Charlie goes out to drum in the war, he is terrified and sees the horrors and bloodshed that occurred in the Civil War. So Charley decides to run away from the war to go back to his home in New York City. On the way there, he meets a granny. He agrees to work for her even though she treats him shabbily. She does that because she thinks Charlie is a coward and has run away from the war. But at the end of the novel he does something so brave that he shocks granny and even himself. He proves to himself and to granny that he is not a coward after all.
This book is good for boys because the story is about a boy's perspective of life. It also contains a lot of action, which is enjoyable to boys. Girls would like the book because it contains emotions and a lot of feelings. For example, the story about the bonding between Granny and Charlie is very touching. This book shows that you can't judge a person just by first impressions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Drummer Boy That Could June 5 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Charlie Skedaddle
Do you like the Civil War? If you do, you will love this transcendent book. Charlie Skedaddale is an imaginative, but factual, book written by Patricia Beatty about the life of a drummer boy who was part of the Bowrey Boys gang in the Bronx. He wanted to avenge the death of his brother who died in the Civil War as a soldier.
Charlie went to an enlistment office to sign up as a soldier, but he was told he was too young. They said that the only job for him in the Union army was that he could be a drummer boy.
In the line of battle, he saw his best friend shot down before him. He runs away towards the Appalatchian Mountains and thinks himself a coward. On his way, he meets a lady that he calls Granny. One day, while she out he takes on a panther and he finds out that he is not as mutch of a coward as he thought!
That is the life of a boy who could have been drummer boy which is marvolusly written. I recommend that anyone who likes the Civil War should read it!
A Sixth Grader at OHES
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3.0 out of 5 stars Brother vs. Brother June 4 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Gunshots ring. A drumbeat rolls out like thunder, the pounding of feet marching. A gunshot, then a scream. Someone breaks away from the crowd and makes for the woods. Someone yells, "Skedaddler!" Patricia Beatty weaves some suspense and adventure in her book Charley Skedaddle.
Imagine the horror of shooting someone for the first time. Would you run or fight?
Charley Quinn ran, branding himself a coward. Charley Quinn is searching for his lost brother. Fate leads him to war, as a drummer boy. He meets his brother's best friend, hoping against hope, only to find his brother had died in a battle at Gettysburg.
Patricia Beatty has a certain style. Her endings for chapters are sometimes interesting cliffhangers. The ending is not that exciting but certain parts are interesting. I wouldn't really recommend this book to any reader thirsting for a lot adventure and excitement. 6th grade student of OHES.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Running away from the Battle of Civil War June 4 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you like books from back in the Civil War, then this book is for you. Charley Schaddle is a twelve year old, New York boy in a gang (The Bowery Boys). The reason he is in a gang is because of his brother. His brother died at the Battle of Gettysburg, and ever since then, all he wanted to do was be just like him. Charley ran away from a fight and saw on a poster that there was an openning in the war. So Charley took the job. He became the drummer boy in the Civil War on the Union side. He felt like this is where he wanted to be until he saw all of his brother's friends get shot. Then he got really scared and did not know what to do. Should he stay or should he go??
To find more about Charley's adventure, read Charley Schaddle, by Patricia Beatty.
6th grade student from OHES
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