The Fighting Ground

( 25 )

Overview

April 3, 1778

He may be just thirteen, but Jonathan knows he's ready to go to the war against the British. He can handle a gun. He yearns to battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin.

So when Jonathan hears the tavern bell toll, calling men to fight, he runs to join them. He doesn't realize that in just twenty-four hours, his life will be forever altered ? by the war, by his fellow soldiers, and by ...

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Overview

April 3, 1778

He may be just thirteen, but Jonathan knows he's ready to go to the war against the British. He can handle a gun. He yearns to battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin.

So when Jonathan hears the tavern bell toll, calling men to fight, he runs to join them. He doesn't realize that in just twenty-four hours, his life will be forever altered — by the war, by his fellow soldiers, and by the terrible choices he must make.

Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064401852
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1987
  • Series: A Trophy Bk.
  • Edition description: 25th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 25
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 42,880
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Avi

Avi is the author of more than sixty books, including Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a Newbery Medal winner, and Crispin: At the Edge of the World. His other acclaimed titles include The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth, both Newbery Honor Books, and most recently The Seer of Shadows. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Biography

Born in Manhattan in 1937, Avi Wortis grew up in Brooklyn in a family of artists and writers. Despite his bright and inquisitive nature, he did poorly in school. After several academic failures, he was diagnosed with a writing impairment called dysgraphia which caused him to reverse letters and misspell words. The few writing and spelling skills he possessed he had gleaned from his favorite hobby, reading -- a pursuit enthusiastically encouraged in his household.

Following junior high school, Avi was assigned to a wonderful tutor whose taught him basic skills and encouraged in him a real desire to write. "Perhaps it was stubbornness," he recalled in an essay appearing on the Educational Paperback Association's website, "but from that time forward I wanted to write in some way, some form. It was the one thing everybody said I could not do."

Avi finally learned to write, and well! He attended Antioch University, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and received a master's degree in library science from Columbia in 1964. He worked as a librarian for the New York Public Library's theater collection and for Trenton State College, and taught college courses in children's literature, while continuing to write -- mostly plays -- on the side. In the 1970s, with two sons of his own, he began to craft stories for children. "[My] two boys loved to hear stories," he recalled. "We played a game in which they would give me a subject ('a glass of water') and I would have to make up the story right then. Out of that game came my first children's book, Things That Sometimes Happen." A collection of "Very Short Stories for Little Listeners," Avi's winning debut received very positive reviews. "Sounding very much like the stories that children would make up themselves," raved Kirkus Reviews, "these are daffy and nonsensical, starting and ending in odd places and going sort of nowhere in the middle. The result, however, is inevitably a sly grin."

Avi has gone on to write dozens of books for kids of all ages. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991) and Nothing but the Truth (1992) were named Newbery Honor Books, and in 2003, he won the prestigious Newbery Medal for his 14th-century adventure tale, Crispin: The Cross of Lead. His books range from mysteries and adventure stories to historical novels and coming-of-age tales; and although there is often a strong moral core to his work, he leavens his message with appealing warmth and humor. Perhaps his philosophy is summed up best in this quote from his author profile on Scholastic's website: "I want my readers to feel, to think, sometimes to laugh. But most of all I want them to enjoy a good read."

Good To Know

In a Q&A with his publisher, Avi named Robert Louis Stevenson as one of his greatest inspirations, noting that "he epitomizes a kind of storytelling that I dearly love and still read because it is true, it has validity, and beyond all, it is an adventure."

When he's not writing, Avi enjoys photography as one of his favorite hobbies.

Avi got his unique nickname from his twin sister, Emily..

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    1. Also Known As:
      Avi Wortis (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 23, 1937
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

9:58

It was in the morning when Jonathan first heard the bell. He was standing in the warm, open field feeling hot, dirty, and bored. His father, not far off, limped as he worked along the newly turned rows of corn. As for Jonathan, he was daydreaming, daydreaming about being a soldier.

His older brother was a soldier with General Washington in Pennsylvania. His cousin had joined a county regiment. Jonathan kept waiting for his father to say that he too could join. He was, after all, thirteen. But his father only put him off.

Jonathan dreamed of one day taking up a gun himself and fighting the enemy. For he had heard his father and his father's friends talk many times about the tyrannical British; their cruel mercenary allies, the German-speaking Hessians; and the hated Tories, those American traitors who had sided with the brutal English king.

But Jonathan's father no longer spoke of war. During the past winter he had fought near Philadelphia and been wounded in the leg. It was painful for him to walk, and Jonathan was needed at home. Though Jonathan kept asking questions about the battle, his father only shook his head, while his eyes grew clouded. Still, Jonathan could dream. So it was that at the sound of the bell they both stood still and listened.

The bell, at the tavern a mile and a half away, was used to call the men to arms. This time it tolled only once. Puzzled, they stood alert, straining to hear if more would come.

Jonathan looked over at the edge of the field, where his father's flintlock musket leaned against a stump. The cartridge box and powder horn were also there. The gun wasprimed, ready to be used. Jonathan knew how. Hadn't his father taught him, drilled him, told him that everyone had to be prepared? Hadn't he said, "We must all be soldiers now"? And hadn't Jonathan talked with his friends of war, battles old and new, strategies fit for major generals? And, having fought their wars, they had always won their glory, hadn't they?

So when the bell stayed silent, Jonathan sighed with disappointment. His father turned back to work. The beating of his hoe against the earth made a soft, yielding sound, as if a clock had begun to count a familiar piece of time.

But as Jonathan resumed his tasks, his mind turned to uniforms, the new New Jersey uniforms. He pictured himself in a fancy blue jacket with red facings, white leggings, a beautiful new gun snug against his cheek....

Softly at first, but with growing sureness, the bell began to ring again. Each stoke sliced away a piece of calm.

"What do you think?" Jonathan asked.

His father pulled off his black felt hat and mopped his brow with the back of his hand. He was looking South, worry on his face. Absentmindedly, he rubbed his wounded leg.

Seeing him yet undecided, Jonathan walked to the edge of the field to get a drink of water from the clay jar by the gun. The cool water dripped down his neck, trickled over his chest, and made him shiver.

The bell tolled on. Jonathan, stealing glances at his father, touched his fingers to the glossy butt of the gun, liking its burly satin finish.

"Maybe you'd best get back to the house," his father said. "Could be someone's come on through with news. I'd need to know."

Jonathan sprang up. Too fast.

"Jonathan!" his father cried. Grabbed by his father's voice, Jonathan stood where he was.

"Don't you-by God-don't you go beyond!"

They looked at one another. Jonathan felt his stomach turn all queer, for in that moment his father's eyes became unveiled, and they revealed themselves to be full of fear.

Quickly, Jonathan turned away and began to run through the copse of trees that separated the field from their house. Behind him, the clocklike sound of his father's work resumed, an echo to the call of the bell.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    Touching

    I truly enjoyed this book. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover, and I really liked how Avi explored Jonathan's changing opinion of war. As a teacher, I see a lot of my students speak about how they would fight anyone and stand up for what is right, without thinking about the realities of fighting. Without lecturing, or obviously coming out with the statement 'Adults are sometimes right,' Avi shows how Jonathan, thtough experience, comes to recognize that those annoying warnings from adults can sometimes be worth listening to.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    Making the American Revolution come to life

    I read this book over the phone to my 10 yr. old grandson this past summer. He and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The main character was older than he, but young enough to be relative. The story depicted the reality of war, so the reader must be able to handle some verbal cruelty and death. It is very well written and believable. The historical aspect was clear, but left room for questions from my grandson that I enjoyed answering for him. I recommend this book especially for boys.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2005

    Astonishing Read!!!!

    This book is one of the best books that I have read this year.Johnathan, a thirteen year old boy, goes out to fight against the British. But when he meets three Hessians, his life is turned into an upside-down, topsy-turvey,emotional battle.He'll have to face difficult challenges,and horrible choices in this great read. Readers will be captivated as they read this thrilling book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Very great book, but it was confusing at times. i am in the 6th

    Very great book, but it was confusing at times. i am in the 6th grade and think this book should be for mature 7th graders. some of the words in this book like on page 92- callousness; you can't expect a 7th grader to figure that out! "Avi" has written too much swearing and that should be reduced. Awesome book, avi should keep writing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Great Short Read Aloud

    This book lends itself as a short read aloud for middle grade students. It is rich with history and summarizes the emotions and actions of the people during the Revoulutionary War.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    I was expecting a little more from this book, but it was okay. Some of it appeared very unrealistic and I felt that sometimes this character was in over his head, but again, it's not too bad, perhaps I am being overly critical. What I would recommend is this new book that just came out, Jamestown: Journey Back in Time, now that was a fun read, and I learned more about the first settlement in Virginia. The character in this book is a pretty cool kid who is lost in time and wants to get back home, but in the meantime goes through some pretty wild adventures. Check it out! Anyhow,

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2006

    This book is stupid!

    You should never read this in your life!!!! It is very unmature and Avi looks like a She/man

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2005

    Take the Ground and Fight

    This book really explains war and takes place all in one day!!! It is about a boy named Jonathan who thinks Fighting is fun until he trys it himself. What a journey he has.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2005

    The Fighting Ground

    April 3,1778 Jonathan, 13, know's he's ready to fight the British. He can handle a gun. And he yearns to don a iniform and battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin So on this day when the tavern ball tolls, calling men to arms, Jonathan doesn't ask his fathers permission. He simply goes. And to his joy, he is accepted In the next 24 hours, Jonathan learns what it means to fight, and to be a soldier. He also learns what it's like to meet Death face to Face. And it's a lesson he wil never forget....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    Fighting Ground

    this book is amazing n u cant put it down..everything is explained well but i felt it was kinda rushed but IT WAS AWESOME! i reccomend this to any one no matter wut books they read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    Fighting Ground

    I really liked this book. I gave it 4stars cuz i think the author could of added a little more details and the book seemed to rush by. any how this book was awesome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2004

    Johnathan

    Thirteen-year-old Jonathan is too young to fight with the colonists against the British, but that doesn¿t stop him from sneaking off to participate in a local skirmish. When he sees the precise formation of Hessians marching toward him and his fellow patriots, however, he is confronted with the horrors and ambiguities of war. George Guidall¿s narration captures the drama and desperation of Jonathan¿s plight. 'THE FIGHTING GROUND' is about a boy who is thirteen yrs. old and ready to fight for glory but when the 24 hours training, it seems that he didn't want to be what he wanted.Jonathan,13,knows he's ready to fight the british. He can handle a gun. And he yearns to don a uniform and battle fo glory, just like his brother and cousin. He didn't ask to fight, he simply goes, and to his joy he accepts. in the next twenty four hours Jon learns what it means to fight, and to be a soldier. He also learns what it's like to meet death, face to face. The Fighting Ground's main character is Johnny. Johnny always wished to be in the war. Once he got his chance however, he strongly regretted his wishes. This story is about a 13-year-old-boy who goes to war and encounters many obstacles along the way. Johnny takes part in an experience of adventure and fright that will thrill anyone who reads this story. I think this book is an excellent war book and I recommend it to I think personally this book has a lot of meaning, and lessons to learn. Jonathon is only 14, and he knew that his dream was to be a soldier!So he went out there and did what he thought was really important to him. I think thats a great thing to learn, whatever you have to dream, go for it and I'm sure that you'll succeed! Jonathan, who is thirteen, knows he's ready to go fight the British. He can handle a gun. And he yearns to don a uniform and battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin. The story takes place in one day, detailed minute by minute. So on this day when the story takes place, it all starts by a tavern bell tolling. It is used to for calling men to arms and is heard by Jonathan and his father. At first it goes on and off and brings curiosity to Jonathan and his father working in their field. Jonathan goes to see what is happening and doesn't really ask his father's permission. He simply goes. There he finds out that a small army is going to fight some Hessians. He says he is going to fight with them and to his joy, he's accepted. He then goes into the tavern, gets a gun and is off to go fight. In the next twenty-four hours Jonathan fights in the skirmish and ends up being capture by three Hessian solders. while in their captive he find a small boy and ends up escaping with him and finds what is left of his comrades that he fought with, Jonathan learns what it means to fight, and to be a soldier. Back to Top

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    always fight for glory!!!!!

    "THE FIGHTING GROUND" is about a boy who is thirteen yrs. old and ready to fight for glory but when the 24 hours training, it seems that he didn't want to be what he wanted.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2002

    Red coat wars

    Jonathan,13,knows he's ready to fight the british. He can handle a gun. And he yearns to don a uniform and battle fo glory, just like his brother and cousin. He didn't ask to fight, he simply goes, and to his joy he accepts. in the next twenty four hours Jon learns what it means to fight, and to be a soldier. He also learns what it's like to meet death, face to face.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    The Fighting Ground

    The Fighting Ground's main character is Johnny. Johnny always wished to be in the war. Once he got his chance however, he strongly regretted his wishes. This story is about a 13-year-old-boy who goes to war and encounters many obstacles along the way. Johnny takes part in an experience of adventure and fright that will thrill anyone who reads this story. I think this book is an excellent war book and I recommend it to all!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2000

    Great Book For Teens!

    I think personally this book has a lot of meaning, and lessons to learn. Jonathon is only 14, and he knew that his dream was to be a soldier!So he went out there and did what he thought was really important to him. I think thats a great thing to learn, whatever you have to dream, go for it and I'm sure that you'll succeed!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2000

    A good summary

    Jonathan, who is thirteen, knows he's ready to go fight the British. He can handle a gun. And he yearns to don a uniform and battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin. The story takes place in one day, detailed minute by minute. So on this day when the story takes place, it all starts by a tavern bell tolling. It is used to for calling men to arms and is heard by Jonathan and his father. At first it goes on and off and brings curiosity to Jonathan and his father working in their field. Jonathan goes to see what is happening and doesn't really ask his father's permission. He simply goes. There he finds out that a small army is going to fight some Hessians. He says he is going to fight with them and to his joy, he's accepted. He then goes into the tavern, gets a gun and is off to go fight. In the next twenty-four hours Jonathan fights in the skirmish and ends up being capture by three Hessian solders. while in their captive he find a small boy and ends up escaping with him and finds what is left of his comrades that he fought with, Jonathan learns what it means to fight, and to be a soldier.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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