With Every Drop of Blood

Overview

Johnny, a Rebel boy whose father died for the South, is captured by a runaway slave, a Yankee soldier. The boy's natural enmity grows into an unlikely bond as they struggle to survive the last days of the war together.

While trying to transport food to Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Johnny is captured by a black Union soldier.

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Overview

Johnny, a Rebel boy whose father died for the South, is captured by a runaway slave, a Yankee soldier. The boy's natural enmity grows into an unlikely bond as they struggle to survive the last days of the war together.

While trying to transport food to Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, fourteen-year-old Johnny is captured by a black Union soldier.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Collier brothers ( My Brother Sam Is Dead ) here paint a strong, affecting picture of the Civil War era, of the grueling work and privations of the home front as well the chaos and carnage of the battlefield. When Pa is wounded in action in 1864 and comes home to die, he extracts a promise from Johnny, the book's 14-year-old narrator, to stay on their farm in Virginia and look after the family. But a few months after Pa's death, Johnny undertakes a dangerous mission to bring food into besieged Richmond--and maybe avenge his father's honor. Instead, he and the family's team of mules are captured by Blue Coats; even worse (to him), the soldiers are black, and the youth suffers the ignominy of taking orders from a former slave his own age, Cush Turner. At first Johnny takes advantage of his captor's kindliness, but ultimately he becomes friends with Cush and even saves his life. When the war ends, Cush and Johnny set off toward home together, the latter observing, ``For sure it is going to be a long time before kids of slaves and kids of slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood,'' but adding that staying friends is worth a try. The sensitive treatment of this unlikely relationship recalls Patricia Calvert's equally fine novel, Bigger . Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
The ALAN Review - Charles R. Duke
While trying to transport food to the Confederate troops, young Johnny is captured by a Yankee - Cush, a runaway slave. Although Johnny has trouble accepting Cush as his equal, eventually the two come to appreciate each other, and Johnny ends up rescuing Cush when he is captured by the Rebels. The story highlights the division between whites and blacks at the time of the Civil War, but it also shows in a very human way how such differences can be overcome when survival becomes a common bond. The narrative moves quickly, and the events that bring the characters together are historically true. Though the book contains some racial slurs, the authors provide a clear historical context for their presence in the story. Boys age ten and above should find this a fast-moving, thought-provoking story about the Civil War and about the role that race played in it.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Like Patricia Beatty's Turn Homeward, Hannalee (Morrow, 1984) and Paul Fleischman's Bull Run (HarperCollins, 1993), this title gives readers a vivid portrayal of the Civil War. Johnny, 14, promises his dying father that he'll stay on their Virginia farm with his mother and younger sisters. The opportunity to strike a blow against the Union Army is irresistible, however, and the boy convinces his mother to let him join a wagon train carrying food to Confederate soldiers. He has been brought up to believe that all blacks are stupid; thus, when captured by a black Union soldier about his age who insists that Johnny teach him to read, he deliberately tricks him. Reaching the Union camp, Johnny is surprised when Cush saves him from imprisonment; as the novel concludes, he saves Cush's life. Richly drawn, the two boys exhibit many of the foibles found in people everywhere, and their developing friendship is believable. Authentic battle scenes add spice to the story. A two-page foreword discusses the use of the word ``nigger'' in the book. Sure to become popular.-Jo-Anne Weinberg, Greenburgh Public Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788708954
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 7/1/1997
  • Format: Other
  • Edition description: Unabridged

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