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Charley Skedaddle

Charley Skedaddle

3.6 13
by Patricia Beatty

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In this powerful story, based on real-life Civil War records and memoirs, young Yankee deserter Charley Quinn learns that his flight from his first battle doesn't brand him a life-long coward. "Rich detail . . . readers will love this rousing epic."--Kirkus Reviews. Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.


In this powerful story, based on real-life Civil War records and memoirs, young Yankee deserter Charley Quinn learns that his flight from his first battle doesn't brand him a life-long coward. "Rich detail . . . readers will love this rousing epic."--Kirkus Reviews. Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (October)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 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

Product Details

Troll Communications L.L.C.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.55(d)
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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Charley Skedaddle 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
mrs3301 More than 1 year ago
Charley Skedaddle is a great historical fiction book for students. This book will open student¿s eyes to what war truly is; terrifying. This book taught me much about America¿s history, it will educate students since they should already have prior knowledge before reading. I would recommend this book to students from 4th grade and above. Students can relate to this book because most of them consider themselves to be brave, until they have been put into a sticky situation, like Charley. This book will help them understand what war is like and how important it is that we support our military and the people who fight for our country. Young children really do not understand how important it is to have a strong military, from reading this book they will gain a respect and knowledge for our service men and women. I really admire this book and would strongly recommend it for students! mrs3301
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a book that I read when I was in forth grade and I am now 29. My daughter who is eight read this book and she could not put it down I am also reading it to my other children who are younger and they too are actually enjoying it. I would recommend this book for anyone that wants to be able to learn or teach facts from fiction so that it is not as hard to learn the information that our nation is actually formed from.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is pretty good for a 5th grade student. It sometimes got me to the edge of my seat. I even wondered if Charley would get shot. I would suggest this book to anyone above 4th grade. This story is too intense for 4th graders.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in class. It is old and hard to understand. The plot is boring. A boy would never go to war. Writing this book was a waste of time for beatty and reading it will be a waste of time for you. If you don't like war or stupid books, DO NOT EVER READ THIS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would reccomand this to any 5th-9th graders
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am just starting to read charley skedaddle and it is starting to be a good book so far.I did not get into it yet my we have to read it in my ILA class.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the very few books I didn't want to stop reading. This is even better than what the title says. I think everybody should read this if you like to read about the Civil War! Hey I am only 11 and I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charley Skedaddle was a good story. It was fun to read... but not boring to learn. The author gave great details and great description. I recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charley Skedaddle may seem fun and interesting to read (judging by the cover), but I found it terribly boring to read after the 50th page. Patricia Beatty seemed to blab about small details, hardly getting to the whole adventure in Charley's life. It's begining chapters seemed interasting, up to the part where Charley joined the army, but later the book became very dull.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charley Skedaddle by Patricia Beatty Charley thinks he's a tough guy. He gets this attitude from his older brother, who was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. Since his brothers death, Charley has vowed to get revenge against the Confederates. So he sneaks into the Union Army as a drummer boy. Once on the battle field, Charley realizes he is not so tough after all. After seeing two of his friends shot in battle, and killing a man himself, Charley "skedaddles" away from the battle and into the woods. He has become a coward, and everybody else thinks so too. Can Charley prove he's not a coward, and finally loose the name "Charley Skedaddle"? I considered this book as one of the best books I have ever read. From the first chapter, the book had me hooked right in. The description of the city that was given in the beginning pages, painted a realistic picture in my mind, and it was easy to place the main character, Charley, in that setting. All throughout the book, scenes were brought forth through the authors easy flowing words that just seemed to make the book come alive, and let the reader fall into the pages. The action scenes made the reader keep reading page after page, in suspence, to find out what was going to happen next. As a teacher this book can be very useful. It can be used in a history lesson, such as the one I am currently working on, to introduce the civil war. This book gives great description of what the two sides that were fighting looked like, where they fought, who their generals were, and even which side one a particular battle. It also desribes the type of weapons used, the uniforms that were worn,and the type of camps and posts set up for the soldiers. I believe anybody that is interested in our countries history will enjoy this book. I for one, am not too aware of the details of our past wars, but this allowed me to understand a huge part of our countries evolution with much more ease then trying to sit through a history lesson.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my Social Studies class we had to read this book. When the teacher read the book to us, 4 kids fell asleep and I'm not joking. It was such a lame book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a young boy from New York who jouns up with the Union army in memory of his brohter who died in the battle of Gettysburg while fighting for the Union. Although Charley is too young to fight he becomes a drummer boy. He shoots a Confederate one day in a battle and see's friends die and get seriously injured. All this terrifies him and he 'skedaddles' or leaves the Unoin army. He meets an old mountain woman and lives with her for a long time. During this time he experiences many things and in my opinion becomes more mature. This is a well written book and is extremely interesting. It has humor and the story is written so well that it keeps you reading. I recommend this book to people who enjoy reading about the Civil War(like my self) and who want excitement along with humor. This is a great book. If you have the chance to read it take the time do so. You'll be glad you did later on! :)