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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 Sheila's book review May 4 2004
By A Customer
"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
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Brave Boy June 4 2003
By A Customer
Do you like thrilling books about the past? Then Charley Skedaddle is the book for you. When Charley was at home, he was very brave, because he was on his homeland. He knew everywhere to hide. He was getting in trouble by his sister because he was getting into fights. He always ran errands for his sister and her Fiancé, Micheal. He hated him. Charley had barely any fear. He was part of a gang. His real name is Charley Quinn.
Charley is sad because he misses his brother, Johnny. From the book, it sounds like they loved each other a whole lot. Johnny went to war and got killed.
One day Charley was walking by and heard a band playing a couple blocks down. He went over to see what it was. He saw soldiers marching and playing instruments. He saw his brothers friend there, Jem Miller. He wanted to go to the war but he also didn't want to go. Jem didn't want to encourage him to go to the Civil War, but he knew a perfect place for Charley, drummer boy. Is Charley going to go to War or is he going to stay with his sister?

If you want to read more about this book, it's called Charley Skedaddle, by Patricia Beatty.
6th Grade Student from OHES
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4.0 out of 5 stars No One Is A Real Skedaddle Coward June 4 2003
By A Customer
Skedaddle means "to run away in a cowardly manner," but who would have a name like that? Well, Charley would. Patricia Beatty, wrote this book and this is a story that you will never forget. You see, Skedaddle is his nickname that he gave himself. Charley lives in New York with his sister. His parents were already dead. Charley was in a New York street gang called the Bowery Boys. Almost everyday the gang would fight with other gangs. Their main rival was the Dead Rabbits. Fighting was his lifestyle.
The story all begins when Charley's brother is killed in the Civil War. Now all Charley has are memories and his brother's silver watch. His life gets more difficult when his sister gets engaged with a guy Charley really hates. One night, Charley overheard him talking to his sister about sending him to boarding school. Now Charley is madder than ever! When Charley's sister and fiancé left the house to go to the movies, Charley decides to go out and hang out with his gang. Along the way, though, he meets someone that's going to change his life forever, soldiers.
Eventually his life twists more than ever and he becomes a drummer boy for the army. During his training, he makes many friends along with an enemy. When, suddenly, his troop is going to battle! Charley was great with guns because he was in a gangster back in New York. But war was different. After seeing his best friend fall to the ground, he is scared. Without thinking, he picks up his friend's musket and fired...
Later, his life takes him far into the unknown world. There he meets an old women and learns who he really is. He is not the coward that he thought he was. Instead, he is the opposite of that, a hero should be his real title. This book by Patricia Beatty, will have your heart beating every minute to the suspense and excitement of what happens next...
6th Grade Student From OHES
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars charley Skedaddle
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. Read more
Published on June 3 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Drummer Boy
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. Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Courage defined here!
This book is the best book I ever read! It's exciting, romantic, and expressive. It also teaches history.
Published on May 7 2004 by S. J Ledet
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING
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. Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by georgia-sunflower
1.0 out of 5 stars Running away from the Battle of Civil War
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). Read more
Published on June 4 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Brother vs. Brother
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. Read more
Published on June 4 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars A Cold Damp Winter
Staying in a cold damp place, not seeing your family for possibly months, that's how it was for Charley Quinn, a 12 year old boy at war. Read more
Published on June 4 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars The Skedaddler
Charley Quinn is a drummer boy for the Union army during the Civil War .He ran away from home to join the army and be like his older brother, never in his wildest dreams could he... Read more
Published on June 3 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars About Charley
Charley is a 13 year old boy and a member of the Bowery Boys gang in New York City. He's never run from a fight before on the streets, but once he gets on the ship to Virginia as a... Read more
Published on May 28 2003
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