Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThese 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 JournalGr 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
- Smith, Peter Publisher, Inc.
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