From Slave to Soldier: Based on a True Civil War Story

Overview

Johnny loves his uncle and his master's mule, but he hates being a slave. So when he's asked to join the Union army, he accepts. Being a soldier is hard work, and Johnny wonders if he made the right choice. But when the army needs him, Johnny knows it's up to him to come to the rescue!

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Overview

Johnny loves his uncle and his master's mule, but he hates being a slave. So when he's asked to join the Union army, he accepts. Being a soldier is hard work, and Johnny wonders if he made the right choice. But when the army needs him, Johnny knows it's up to him to come to the rescue!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
As the subtitle notes in this level 3 book in the "Ready to Read" series, this account is based on a true Civil War story. The opening pages show a map with the free states in one color and the slave states in another. Young Johnny is a slave, living in Tennessee. He is responsible for taking the cows out to pasture and also for delivering water to the men working in the fields. He never gets thanked for his work and is beaten when one of the cows gets away. It is not a happy life. When he is given a chance to join the Union Army and be free, he takes it. This life is all new and strange, but Johnny becomes a helper with the supply wagon. He had plenty of experience with mules back on the plantation. He is called upon to drive a team and a wagon load of food to men who have not eaten all day. He proves to be capable way beyond his years. It is a heartwarming story with watercolor illustrations that strongly support the text. This is a good choice for Black History month or any time of year. 2005, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Ages 6 to 8.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In simple sentences for those who have just begun to read proficiently, Hopkinson tells the story of a slave boy who runs away to join the Union army. Short chapters and detailed watercolors aid the transition to more difficult text, while an exciting plot based on a true Civil War story keeps readers interested. No fighting is portrayed; the story centers on a harrowing trip Johnny makes to take supplies to a team of soldiers. A worthwhile addition to beginning chapter-book collections.-Anne Knickerbocker, formerly at Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Johnny loves his Uncle Silas, his mule Nell and the cows he herds back and forth each day. But he does not love being a slave. And when Uncle Silas plants the idea of service in the Union army in Johnny's brain, it's pretty easy for him to join up with Company C as it marches through the Hogatt farm. Adding to the Ready-to-Read early reading series, Hopkinson brings her research and storytelling talents to another little-known chapter in U.S. history for children. Floca's simple, flat watercolors match the straightforward prose, and the blue-washed night scenes match the tension as Johnny performs an act of heroism to save the company. Though the acceptance the white soldiers show to their new recruit seems unreal, a helpful author's note documents the kindness of these particular Union soldiers. Young Civil War buffs will welcome something they can read themselves. (Nonfiction. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689839665
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Series: Ready-to-Read Series: Level 3
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 176,045
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 460L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Hopkinson

Deborah Hopkinson is the author of numerous award-winning children's books, including Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, winner of the International Reading Association Award, Girl Wonder, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award, and Apples to Oregon, a Junior Library Guild Selection. She received the 2003 Washington State Book Award for Under the Quilt for the Night. She lives in Oregon. Visit her on the Web at www.deborahhopkinson.com.

Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Lightship, also a Sibert Honor Book; Racecar Alphabet, an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and Locomotive, the recipient of seven starred reviews and a New York Times 2013 Best Illustrated Children’s Book. He has illustrated Avi’s Poppy Stories, Kate Messner’s Marty McGuire novels, and Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan’s Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, a Sibert Honor Book and winner of the Orbis Pictus Award. You can visit him online at BrianFloca.com.

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