Red Cap

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These vivid historical novels each center on an imperiled male protagonist: in the first, a 13-year-old lies about his age to enlist in the Union Army, while The Raid brings danger for 14-year-old Lige when his brother is kidnapped in an Indian attack. Ages 10-up.(Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- Ransom J. Powell, 13, runs away to become a drummer boy for the Union Army in this fact-based Civil War story set in Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia. He quickly learns that youth does not spare one the horrors of war. He sees a fellow drummer as well as several other friends killed before he is taken prisoner. His stays at Libby and Andersonville prisons are described in grim detail. Wisler, the author of several historical fiction books for children and adults, presents a well-researched view of the war. He effectively interweaves the known facts of Powell's life with first-person accounts of other soldiers and prisoners to create an exciting story. The boy's pro-Union point of view is dominant but not dogmatically domineering. The southern rationale for war is also explored, and Powell meets good and bad people on both sides. At Andersonville, a Confederate guard helps save his life, and the kindness is never forgotten by the boy. Red Cap, as Powell was known in prison, becomes something of a legend because he refuses to renounce his pledge of loyalty to the Union despite personal deprivation. His story demonstrates that there are many ways to be a hero. Vibrant characters and realistic war and prison scenes combine to make Red Cap a compelling book.-- --Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, County of Henrico Public Library--Fairfield Area Library, Richmond, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525673378
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

G. Clifton Wisler is the author of more than sixty-three books, many of them historical fiction for young adults. His ability to bring history alive in accessible and engaging ways make him a popular author for young readers.Mr. Wisler lives in Plano, Texas, where he continues to work on his doctoral dissertation on the history of the Ninth Texas Infantry Regiment in the Civil War.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2008


    The book, Red Cap, is about a kid named Ransom who gets to be a drummer in an army during the civil war. Ransom has two friends, Enos and Ollie that he hangs out with in Frostburg, Maryland. Enos¿s brother, Patrick, goes to battle for the Confederate and gets killed. Then Enos leaves to battle on the same side and gets his head blown off at Manasas. Ollie wants to join too and asks Ransom to come with him but Ransom wants to stay a Yankee so he said he¿d think about it. One night he snuck out of his house to join the army and settles into a company where he becomes a drummer and meets another drummer named Danny. Danny teaches Ransom all the drum calls. Ransom sees many of his friends die including Danny and Sargent Maggs. Ransom along with Jimmy Dyer, Johnny Poland, Red, and many others get captured and sent to Libby prison. Libby prison treated everyone awful. They were striped, robbed, and feed stuff with bugs in it. Finally they were moved to Andersonville where they were put in a stockade. One day a guy named Louis came and asked Ransom to beat the drum for the 26 Alabama. Ransom plays and brings food back to his friends in the stockade. Once the 26 Alabama leaves Ransom gets employed by Captain Wirz, the person in charge of the stockade. He becomes great friends with Couble and makes many escape maps for the prisoners to get out of the stockade. One day Wirz found one and put Ransom back in the stockade. There were only three people left from his company, Johnny Poland was one of them. One night Johnny gave Ransom the nick name ¿Red Cap¿ went to sleep and never woke up. So Ransom carried him to a place to bury him and beat taps for Johnny. Soon it was him and a private named Bearer but the next day it was just Ransom left. Red Cap had to be sent on a train to who knows where and along the way in order to get out of the train car you had to be what people needed, like a sailor, a blacksmith, a soldier, ect... They needed sailors so Ransom had to say he was a sailor to get out. He went in a building and got asked who he had sailed for, so he told them he wasn¿t a sailor. He got sent to the North where he grows up to tell the tale of himself, Red Cap. I highly recommend this book for its suspense and its great sense of story. Ransom faces many problems. He sees or hears many of his friends die or leave him. He gets captured and put in two different jail type places. This book has adventure packed inside of it. He gets moved from Maryland to Virginia to South Carolina, to Andersonville, Georgia, to his home back in Frostburg. He lives in Maryland then he joins a company in Virginia. From Virginia he got captured and sent to the Libby prison in South Carolina. There he stays a while then gets moved to a stockade in Andersonville, Georgia. Then he gets traded back to the North. This story keeps you from putting the book down with it¿s amazing suspense. In one battle he sees Danny shot down and then he sees four rebels charging at him. Thinking he would be captured or injured, Sargent Maggs protects Ransom by killing them all only to be shot down by a rebel. This book has a nice plot because you feel as you can see what Ransom sees and hear what he hears. I truly recommend this book because it¿s a book you¿ll never forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2007

    Very Good

    I like Red Cap very much. I had to read it for a project and it turned out to be very good. Learning more about the civil war taught me to appreciate life better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2007

    this book is great

    I really enjoed this book. I also loved the ending of the story. It had action parts everywhere.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    Red Cap is a story about a boy named Ransom who wants to be in the army with his friends and wants some excitement in his life. As it turns out he becomes an under age drummer boy. When he arrives at army camp he is warmly welcomed by a boy, Danny, who is also a under age drummer boy. After beating taps they get to fight some battles. In one of the many battles Ransom a.k.a. red cap is captured by the rebels and is taken to a prisoner war camp. I like this because the civil war is interesting to learn about the feelings of the soldiers. It is full of suspense and you never know what¿s going to happen. I found red cap unbelievable because he is eleven years old and he joins the army and I think it is very unreal because no one would do this. I like how it described when they were in the hills. The author described the setting well but the rest of the settings were bad. I liked the dialogue and I believed the friendship had happened. I would rate this book a four out of five because I liked the story but it seemed unreal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    not amazing

    not many exciting things happened and the storyline was very hard to follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2002

    Great book

    This book is listed as fiction but it is hard to tell. I had to do a book report for amer.Gov and since I am a civil war reenactor I naturally choose this one from the school library. I loved it. READ IT

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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