Customer Reviews for

Soldier's Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers

Average Rating 4.5
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(58)

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2 Star

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Stellar Book!

This is one of the few books ive ever read because I don't find reading very fun, but this book was amazing and since I'm very intrested in history this book was easy for me to understand. The author did a great job of showing the setting and didn't use too much or too ...
This is one of the few books ive ever read because I don't find reading very fun, but this book was amazing and since I'm very intrested in history this book was easy for me to understand. The author did a great job of showing the setting and didn't use too much or too little dialog. The book kept my attention the whole way through. Even tho the ending was a happy one. It kept me thinking. I deff. recommend this to everyone because its easy to read and gets your attention.

posted by Anonymous on December 3, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Mediocre, Too Played Up.

As an avid reader, I've scarcely ever hated a book. I consider myself to be good at seeing the light in even the dimmest of stories. I read this book because it was on the list for The Assembly of Literature Among Adolescents, an English festival I will be attending com...
As an avid reader, I've scarcely ever hated a book. I consider myself to be good at seeing the light in even the dimmest of stories. I read this book because it was on the list for The Assembly of Literature Among Adolescents, an English festival I will be attending come March. I tried very hard to find heart in this novel. The book is played up to be very heartfelt, touching, and emotional; the story of a young boy and the struggle of his heart. However, I saw none of that in the story. I felt that Paulsen wrote in a rather mediocre style, more as a sort of bland documentary of a war already too glamorized in the media. I saw no emotion whatsoever in this utterly forgettable story, a story that, mind you, SHOULD have been quite meaningful. I recommend this book to the most naive of readers, looking for information and simplicity, nothing more. Do not pick up this book if you are looking for an inspiring, well written story that will TRULY illustrate the cruelties of war. This book will not do that for you.

posted by ErinElaine on November 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2007

    soldiers heart

    Gary Paulsen has a great way of telling a story of a young man named Charley who was in a war in which he had to fight. He saw his officer, lieutenant, fellow soldiers and friends. There was a lack of food for the soldiers. Most food was given to the sick. Charley and the others were usually hungry. At the slight chance that he would be able to eat he would get nauseous. When he had filled his canteen one dark night he found out that there were dead bodies in the stream and that his canteen had a pinkish color in it. Charley has a way of not dying and he is very lucky. Every day he hears bullets and gunshots and people screaming and dying but yet he still has the strength to move on and live through it. Charley has a hard time getting through the hardships and the fact that all of his friends are desperate to get home and are hungry. The doctor of the camp told him to find meat for the sick and injured. The camp had already eaten through the cattle. All that was left were the eleven rebel horses¿ Charley and three other men killed the eleven horses. Charley was sad to do it because he liked horses and grew up with them. They killed and skinned the horses. Charley and the men fed the horse meat to the sick and told them it was cattle. They knew it wasn¿t but ate it anyway. After feeding the sick, Charley and the others set off for battle. He can tell that he is getting close to battle. As Charley rode to battle he discovered that he had gotten a lot better when he tried to figure out how big the battles were. If there were a lot of sounds that meant it was a big battle, a few shots meant that it was small. This battle was big. As the battle continues, Charley thinks he gets shot in the shoulder. It turns out to be another mans blood. After this battle the troops march to Gettysburg. Charley survives the battle of Gettysburg. He was twenty-one and was happy in Minnesota. I would recommend this book to the people who like war stories and historical fiction. Children under the age of thirteen should not read this book because of the gore and violence. Gary Paulsen is a good author and he works are great to read

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2014

    Soldier¿s Heart By:Gary Paulsen Choosing to read historical fic

    Soldier’s Heart
    By:Gary Paulsen
    Choosing to read historical fiction as opposed to reading just facts of battles and important date helps you understand people’s feelings and can even interest you more. Soldier's Heart does both while, also giving important facts and telling about battle.
    Charley is set out on the adventure of a lifetime that he’s determined not to miss out on. He leaves home to join the First Minnesota Volunteers and gets shocked by the brutalness of a “shooting war.” Not knowing when or if he will die, he has to fight to survive. 
    Soldier’s Heart is enjoyable to read but also a good way to learn about the  Civil War. It shows how hard life was. Also, it shows what a soldier thought. For instance, in the book, the main character Charley didn’t even know what he was actually fighting for. It as well shows time of battle. During those times, Charley would see lots of men falling and even some he knew but he would always have to go on or he himself would be shot.  Lastly, it tells you what you need to know about the Civil War like the facts, dates, and battles.
    In conclusion, this book is a great way to learn the story of a soldier’s daily life and what time of war was like. Sometimes history, about wars, is not just about the battles themselves, but the new life people are forced toget accustomed to because of the fighting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    A great turn in a view of history!

    Ok, I simply loathe history. It's a subject I can't stand learning or reading about a boring past that has nothing to do with me here. Even though I do get straigh A's in ALL subjects, I can't seem to do much for history. However, this amazing book has put a turn in my view of the civil war. I though the civil war was a boring subject to learn about, but this book is so attractive, I finally understand some part of history! I really wish there were more interesting books explaining history for those who are troubled.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2003

    What a Book

    The book 'Soldiers Heart' was an ok book . Gary Paulsen made this book an anti war book. He used many good description words. He also used many diferent actions to make you fell like you are there. Charliey was the main character. He lives in Winona, Minnesota. He went away from he small town tp sign up for the army. He was only 15 years old and lied about his age to he can sign up for the war. He signed up because he thought it would make him a man. He went though many mounths of tranning. Then he went to go fight in his first battle. The Rebels killed many of the people in the first battle. They called this battle the Battle of Bull Run. This book makes you fell like you were there. This is a good book by Gary Paulsen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2009

    A Battle of a Time When Life Was Hard

    A 15 year old boy named Charley Goddard wants to enlist in the army.He enters, lying about his age, with the First Minnesota Volunteers. Charley finds out that the army was very different then he expected. He doesn't the gore of batlle and hates seeing his friends go down.
    This book made me want to read more, it was very interesting and exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2006

    Soldier's Heart

    'Some men came through combat unscathed. Most did not. These men were somehow different....They were said to have a soldier's heart.' -Soldier's Heart. It is this, that a fifteen-year-old Charley Goddard must come to learn...and experiance. Through his book, Soldier's Heart, the author, Gary Paulson expresses the need for us all, young and old, to not grow up too fast...and be who we are. Soldier's Heart takes us to Winona, Minnesota, at the very beginning of the american Civil War, where we follow Charley in his search for manhood, and his ticket into life. Through such a tragic time in history Charley begins to grow and understand. Though, before he may truly know, he must face the climax of his own life. At which, it will have already been too late. In the hope that we may learn from him and take somthing away from the book, Gary Paulson uses Charley to send a message to all of us, not to try and find our places in the world, but grow into it. I thought this book was a great historical fiction and would reccomend it to anyone, especially those ranging in an eleven-to-fifteen age range. Soldier's Heart is an amazing adventure which gives you the chance to think, for yourself. Take that chance!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2005

    Students Opinion

    I have recently read A Soldier¿s Heart by Gary Paulson. I really enjoyed this book for its historical facts. It is about a boy named Charley who lies about his age to enter the Union Army during the Civil War. He learns discipline, how to shoot, and to love coffee. The only thing I didn¿t like is that it wasn¿t long enough, I couldn¿t put it down. It is somewhat graphic, but not bad. Particularly one instance that I found interesting is that there is a specific part in the book where Charley is ordered to stack dead bodies to make a wall to block the wind so the doctors could work more efficiently. It is just a great book and I would recommend it to anyone especially to the history lovers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    A great read!

    I thought the book was great and found it to be a quick read. The book is about a 15-yr old boy named Charley Goddard who wants to be in the 'shooting war'. He really doesn't know what that is all about but feels he wants to be part of it. He even lies about his age to get in. Charley learns quickly that in war death happens more often than not. He learns that he has to trust his instincts to stay alive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2004

    A interesting book

    If you like war, a Soldier¿s Heart is a great book for you. The book is by Gary Paulson. This book follows a 15-year-old boy named Charley Gorddard. Charley is only 15, and lies about his own age to join the Union Army. At first, Charley¿s first impression of the Army is all glory--comfortable transportation and girls throwing candy at them. However, when he gets into battle, he learns the real side of war. Charley goes through the major battles of the Civil War. I would recommend this book to anyone, even people who might not like war. This book is great, because it is short and fun. However, its advantage of being short is its weakness at the same time. However, I would still recommend this book. It is interesting, and it makes you think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2004

    would read it again

    I loved this book. I'm interested in social studies and things like the civil and revolutionary war and i found this book very realistic and hard to put down. The book is a very easy read and doesn't take a logn time to finish. Everyone should read it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2003

    I liked the book.

    This book is about a young boy named charley from Minnesota; who wants to become a man and fakes his age to get into the civil war. He finds out the horrors of war and changes throughout the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2003

    A great book for middle school students

    Gary Paulson shows the horrors of war in this great book soldier heart. The book takes place in the civil war times. A young boy named Charley Goddard only 15 years old wants to enlist in the unoin army. He gets in but soon finds out what a shotting war is all about. The story takes him thought out the whole civil war. The book is great for middle school students. Gary paulson shows the horrors of war that no one should have to go throght.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2003

    I loved the book.

    I think that the book was terrific. It was amazing. It probably touched everyones heart, maybe that's why its called Soldier's Heart. I would incourage anyone and everyone to read it in there high school career. Maybe then there won't be as much violence in the world because if there was people killing and people dieing then the world wouldn't be peaceful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2003

    Soldiers Heart The tadgities of a boy in the war

    Gary Paulsen's book Soldiers heart was a great book about the civil war and the tradgities that come during and after the war. The story is about a young boy named Charley Goddard, A fifteen year old from Minnesota and how he lies about his age to go to war and later finds out that war isn't what he thought it would be. Paulsen writes this book as an Anti-war boook that shows what the men in battle had to go through before and after the war the most memorable points of this book for me were the battles in which Gary Pualsen describes everything from where the battle was and some of the things happening around Charley and what he had to do to survive. Soldiers heart was a book that I didn't want to put down and couldn't wait to find out what happened to Charley.some points in the book are not so convining on the book like charley having to feed horses to sick and wounded soldiers. Compared to other war books i've read this was one of the best because it takes you in it and you follow Charley.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2003

    college freshman

    I read this book my senior year in high school in my literature class. This particular book was a choice of mine, and the reason I chose this book was because the main character grew up in my hometown of Winona, MN. Soldier's Heart grew on me because the Civil War intrigues me. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys literature about the Civil War. It is, however, a book for young adults, so keep that in mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2002

    Soldier's Heart...a great book

    Charley Goddard is a fifteen year old boy-or man as he likes to be called- who fakes his age to be allowed to enroll as a Minnesota volunteer. While Charley is in war, he is faced with the hardships and difficulties of war, and begins to realize how precious life is. Gary Paulsen is a great author; he involves many themes and detail in his writing. Charley wants to enroll as a Minnesota volunteer but, he is not old enough. He had the idea of signing up in a different town where no one would know him. Charley would make eleven dollars a month and send most of it home to his family: this doesn¿t seem like much, he can buy an apple pie for 25 cents. This is one of the reasons that his mother let him join the regiment. Once Charley signs up as a soldier, he begins a new life as an ¿eighteen¿ year old Minnesota volunteer fighting in many battles, all part of the Civil War. While reading this book, I made connections to my own personal life or the world around me. Charley was very lucky and could read and write. In his letters he wrote, ¿Beef so gamey dogs won¿t eat it.¿ I connected this to my dog and that he pretty much eats anything and everything. I pictured my dog running away from this meat that they ate. Although the book did have me a little worried in the beginning. I was concerned that I wasn¿t going to be able to get into the book and really understand it. I had many questions, particularly about how Charley was going to survive and how the war was going to turn out. Throughout the book, I visualized what was going on and connected that to my life and the world in which I live. Talking notes and writing down your questions on post-its are very good way to stay organized and remember what you want to use in your journal. There were many times when I connected something that I visualized to a movie or television show.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2002

    A very good book!

    I enjoyed this book, because it had very interesting information. It was short and easy to read. It was also realistic, but not ordinary at all. One of my favorite parts is when Charlie saw the light from candles and lanterns, but at firs he thinks they are fire-flies huvering over dead people. Another favorite part is when Charlie gets crazy and wants to kill his enimy. I highly recomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2002

    A great book if you like war!!!

    I really enjoyed this book. For one it had a lot of action, It also has a lot of different fights including Gettysburg, and it talked about the bad parts of war such as getting sick and seeing friends being shot. My favorite part was when Charlie goes to Gettysburg. My next favorite part is when charlie is at bull run. In both of these battles there is a lot of action and it has really good description. I would really recommend this book to anyone that likes ready about wars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2002

    Detailed Book

    Garl Paulsen gave great deteil about what the Civil War was really like. He told the daily life of a soldier at war. There was a lot of suspense. There were probably other young men like Charley who snuck into the army. At first I thought that it was boring, but then it got better. I recommend reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2002

    good book

    It is about a 15 yr old kid named Charley Goddard who enlisted for war. He didn't really know what a 'shooting war' was but enlisted any way. Fighting the Civil Warhe thought would only last a couple of months. The book tells you about the battles that Charlie faght. It has a lot of action and I liked it.

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