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Bull Run by Paul Fleischman, David Frampton, David Frampton

Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction * ALA Best Book for Young Adults * ALA Notable Children's Book

In this brilliant fictional tour de force, which the New York Times called "a deft, poignant novel," Newbery Medal-winning author Paul Fleischman re-creates the first great battle of the Civil War from the points of view of sixteen participants.

Northern and Southern, male and female, white and black. Here are voices that tell of the dreams of glory, the grim reality, the hopes, horror, and folly of a nation discovering the true nature of war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064405881
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/31/1995
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 207,168
Product dimensions: 8.22(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Paul Fleischman's novels, poetry, picture books, and nonfiction are known for innovation and multiple viewpoints. He received the Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices and a Newbery Honor for Graven Images, and he was a National Book Award finalist for Breakout. His books bridging the page and stage include Bull Run, Seek, and Mind's Eye. For the body of his work, he's been the United States nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in California.

Read an Excerpt

Colonel Oliver Brattle

The booning jerked me out of sleep, woke the dishes and set them chattering, and sent Clara dashing through the dark to the children. "Must be the Lord comin'!" cried one of the servants. I realized I'd been deeaming of Mexico. Strange.

I lit a candle. The clock read four thirty. All of Charleston seemed to be in the streets. I dressed, stepped out the front door, and was embraced at once by a teary-eyed stranger. "Praise the day!" he shrieked into my face. "They're firing on Fort Sumter!"

We gathered on Judge Frye's flat roof. The cannons rattled the very constellations. Shells sailed, their lit fuses tracing caliper-perfect arcs, then exploded. Each illumination of the bay was greeted with appreciative oohs and hurrahs. You'd have thought that the crowds were enjoying a Fourth of July display. Some brought baskets of food to the rooftops and raised glasses in toasts to South Carolina, Jefferson Davis, and General Beauregard. I was silent, though I shared their allegiance. I'd fought, however, fourteen years before from Veracruz to Mexico City. I remembered well what shells do to living flesh, and felt in melancholy mood. Amid all the cheering, the Negroes were similarly glum--suspiciously so. If they rejoiced that a war that might break their bonds had begun, they dared let no one discern it. By a bursting shell's light, I eyed Vernon, my body servant. He caught my glance and the slimmest of smiles fled his lips, like a snake disappearing down a hole.

Lily Malloy

Minnesota is flat as a cracker. Rise up on your toes and you can see across the state. Scarce even a tree in sight but fora few willows beside the creeks. Father said God put willows here that man might have switches to enforce His commandments. Father was a grim-faced Scot and a great believer in switching. Each morning he put on his spectacles, without which he was all but blind. And each evening all six of us were whipped for whatever failings he'd noticed that day. If no fault could be found, we were whipped just the same for any wrongs committed out of his sight. Wee Sarah was not spared, nor Patrick, seventeen and tall. Father was taller still.

One chill April Sunday in 1861, we rode in to church and found a crowd before the door. Mr. Nilson was reading from a newspaper. Fort Sumter had been attacked. The gallant defenders had surrendered the next day. The President had called the Union to arms. That such a far-distant doing should, like a lever, shake Crow County amazed me. Mother wept. The men swore, despite the Sabbath. There was talk that a regiment of one thousand soldiers was being raised in Minnesota. Patrick's eyes glittered like diamonds.

Reverend Bott railed against the Rebels that day. His sermon's subject was "A man's worst foes are those of his own household." Father repeated the line at supper, his eyes fixed upon Patrick. That night, Father gave him a terrible thrashing. Afterward, Patrick asked the reason. "You're thinking to scamper off shouted Father. "Don't think I don't know it! And don't think you'll succeed!" He stood his full height. "I can see fifty miles! I'll hunt you like a wolf, and skin you like one!"

I didn't think I'd sleep that night. At dawn I woke to find my hand holding an old willow whistle Patrick had fashioned. I knew then he was gone and began to cry. We were five years apart but dear to each other. How I did fear that he'd be caught. Then I heard Father roar, "And the stone-hearted rogue took my spectacles with him!"

Shem Suggs

Horses have always served me for kin. The first time one looked back into my eyes, I knew that I was no longer alone on this earth, orphan or no. Never had one of my own to care for. The folks I lived with kept mules. But we'd put up wayfarers crossing Arkansas. Their horses trusted me straightaway, as if they'd known me from before. I'd feed 'em and wash 'em and brush 'em and we'd talk. An hour after arriving, they'd come to me sooner than to their owners. I felt among family with 'em, and forlorn as a ghost when they'd gone.

I was boarding at Mr. Bee's when a traveler told us about Fort Sumter. He left us a newspaper from Virginia. I was nineteen and couldn't read a lick, but I spotted a picture of a horse. I asked Mr. Bee to read the words below. They called men to join the cavalry. Mr. Bee hated Yankees the way a broom hates dirt, and he started in again on Lincoln and the sovereign states and the constitutional right to secede. I just nodded my head like a wooden puppet, thinking about the newspaper instead. It said they'd give me a horse.

Gideon Adams

Though my skin is quite light, I'm a Negro, I'm proud of it, and I wept with joy along with my brethren at President Lincoln's call for men. How we yearned to strike a blow in the battle! Though the state of Ohio refused us the vote and discouraged us from settling, we rose to her aid just the same. No less than Cincinnati's whites,

we organized meetings, heard ringing speeches, sang "Hail Columbia" and "John Brown's Body." All recognized that Cincinnati was vulnerable to capture. We therefore proposed to ready a company of Home Guards, its numbers, training, and equipment to be provided by the black citizens of the city and its services offered to her defense. At last the nation's eyes would behold the Negro's energy and courage!

Bull Run. Copyright © by Paul Fleischman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Bull Run 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
SophieK1 More than 1 year ago
Reading historical fiction can give a benefit to readers of being more interesting and intriguing than a straightforward text from a textbook. Fiction gives the story more depth and action but not all is true. Bull Run by Paul Fleischman is a book that is an engaging piece of literature and can be entertaining for all ages. Bull Run is a collection of short stories from varying characters before, during, and after the battle of Bull Run. These characters range from slaves to free people, men to women, adults to children, Southerners to Northerners, army generals to people who took pictures after the battle and many others. The stories from these characters show the reader that there were many sides of the people that participated in or watched the battle of Bull Run and it reveals of diverse set of voices that recite these outstanding and gory events. Now Bull Run is an amazing book but not for teaching middle schoolers about the Civil War: Firstly, the book in itself is an easy read that I finished in 3-4 days and there isn’t that big of a challenge. As a middle schooler I find a book more gripping when I am challenged. The language was very simple so it was more of a book for elementary school students. Secondly, the chapters are too short. I understand the chapters being short for a short story but the chapters are only one maybe two and a half pages long. It’s hard to bond with a character or get a real sense for what’s going for in one to two pages. When you get older, you read and start to bond with a book character the book starts to feel more genuine, more real. In elementary school bonding with characters and thinking deeply and critically an inferentially about the book isn’t that big of a deal.  Thirdly, while you read--since the pages are so short--you start to lose track of which characters are on which side of the war (Union or Confederate) and it gets confusing. Author, Paul Fleischman has a note page explaining about who is on which side but it is in the back of the book where it is not useful until you finish the book because you will likely not see it. In conclusion, Bull Run by Paul Fleischman is a great book and is a book with a very mixed set of voices but, it is not a book for middle schoolers to learn from, elementary schooler would benefit the most from reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
                Bull Run Book Review       Reading historical fiction can be enriching. Also, a good way to learn about how the time period was and how it might of felt to live in the time period. It also shows the perspective of people living before and after the Civil War and Bull Run is a great book that portrays this.        Bull Run is a series of stories told by blacks, whites, females, males, slave people to free people. The people telling the story come from either the North or the South. The stories take place before and after the Battle of Bull Run during the Civil War. The way the author chose to set up the story was interesting. He wrote the story from all different perspectives and people. The reality of the Civil War can now be shown through historical fiction. The book was enjoyable.        In addition to being enjoyable this book is also a good way to learn about the atmosphere of the war. It explains how the soldier felt, what they wore etc. The book is showing different peoples perspective during the war. Its written from either a black person or white persons perspective. For example I learned that some women didn’t like their husband fighting in the war.        In closing, I believe Bull Run is a good way to teach readers about history. The book teaches about the Battle Of Bull Run and the Civil War. The book will always tell you about more than one persons perspective. If you want a book with many peoples perspective, this is the book!       Review: For the book being so good and teaching readers so much about the nature of history during this time period, I give Gary Paulsen four stars.
NIKE1 More than 1 year ago
Book Review To me, reading historical fiction takes on a different angle than just reading a textbook. When you read historical fiction you get to read about how the characters fee and read about their experiences firsthand. It may not all be true but historical fiction is based of of facts so you can still earn from it, I think Bull Run is a great example of that. In Bull Run it shows different perspectives of all sides before and after the battle of Bull Run. Perspectives of townspeople, soldiers, free black men, and slaves show how everyone has a different side to the story. This book is a good way to learn about the Civil War but there are better. I think that you could get better out of non-fiction books because it doesn’t have a big plot that gets you wrapped up in the drama instead of the historical facts. In the end, the answer would be yes I do think this book particularly is a good way to learn about the Civil War. When I first read Bull Run, I thought it was non-fiction because it sounded like a diary entry and it put me directly into the characters world. In conclusion. I feel like because of the way the author writes in different views I learned more than I ever learned in reading historical fiction
KanKanCoolioBob More than 1 year ago
I was reading this book Bull Run, and I do declare, I find this book not so useful for information. Furthermore, because the stories were so short, it didn't really show a lot about history. Since the stories were so short there wasn't a lot of character development to understand what was really going on. I only understood a little and I rate this book two out of five stars. Continue reading for more information. Giving perspectives of sixteen people in the time of the Civil War, Bull Run is an interesting historical fiction. This book is good and short and also a winner of the 1994 Scott O'Dell Award. It shows all the point of views before, during, and after the war. This book however, is a little too short. It doesn't show a lot of information. If you read the third paragraph you would understand why. This book is not a good way to learn about the Civil War because it does not provide a lot of info about what was going on during it. I dont even know who won! In the whole half of the book, it just shows people getting ready for the war, signing up to be a soldier, both groups going up to Bull Run, etc. And the part after, it just writes that the North and South were spraying each other with bullets. Then one other tiny part after that it says everyone was injured, the dead bodies everywhere, people dying, etc. Then...POOF! The end of the book! Once again I do not recommend this book if you want to learn about the Civil War. It is really confusing. But, I can learn about how peoples lives were before and after the Civil War. I say, this is the only useful info in this book.  So, I guess now you all reading this knows why I do not think this book tells a lot about the Civil War. I enjoyed this book  a little though, because the perspectives of all sixteen people were really well. This is why I gave it two instead of one star. After reading all this, I hope you know why I gave Bull Run, two out of five stars.
Lauren2014 More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent choice to understand different perspectives. 
lcr2136 More than 1 year ago
Excellent for teaching about the Civil War
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bull Run by Paul Fleischman is an extraordinary book with accounts from the Civil War. Southern, Northern, blacks, and whites write to the reader about their thoughts on the war. This book doesn¿t just mention guns and cannons, but captures the true spirit of a great country torn
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bull Run is packed full of interesting facts! This is a very educational book. It is also action-packed with the stories of the runaway slaves of the Underground Railroad. Bull Run covers all of the facts about runaways from the Civil War. From behind pots and pans in a stagtecoach to under the floorboards of the conductor's house. This is a great book for young learning children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because it was interesting and had a lot of action. This book was about wars and people in the war. This gook was excellent!
vanessa5697 More than 1 year ago
I would give the book, Bull Run 4 stars out of 5. This book helps people learn about the history of America. Bull Run is made up of different point of views from many different people, North and South, free and not free, people of color and non-colored people. While reading this book , I learned more about the Civil War, and what people thought of the Civil War while being in it, or supporting the side they’re on.  I like fantasy books, but sometimes reading historical fiction is interesting as well. In the book, Bull Run there are different characters for every chapter. ( Note: Only one character is real.) Additionally, the stories are from the North and South’s point of view. in the Civil War. It included many details and facts. SI found it really interesting about some of the characters life when there was different characteristics of every chapter and helped you learn a little more about how it was during the Civil War.  I think this book is a good way to learn about the Civil War. It describe the different perspectives from the North and South, men and women. It explains many things in the Civil War that was easy/hard. In the book, it said that the challenges of the Civil War for women was that they had to do everything. But a good thing is that the women started to earn money while doing work. A hard thing for the soldiers was that they had to sometimes fight without any food sometimes. The daily life of a soldier and a women was hard, but there were some good things that happened as well.  Bull Run is helpful in teaching things in the Civil War. As I said before, it includes many opinions of different people in the North and South. It increases your thinking of the Civil War. You can think more about it and also think about what caused the Civil War. This book is entertaining and I would recommend this book to people learning the Civil War. 
MrShades95 More than 1 year ago
Bull Run is a book that really has no timeline at all, in my opinion. My reasoning for this is that the book moves around between character journals from the first battle of Manassas and it doesn't put one character's writing near one from the same person. So, by the time you get back to that character you have forgotten what happened the last time you heard from him and you have to go back to read that person again, which makes the book take twice as long to read as any other book of the same length. Other than this I think this is a great book that gives awesome details from the battle. The characters are not very developed and you rarely hear about their comrades in battle. The idea of switching from the North to South is good because you hear how the battle set-up progresses from both sides of the battle at the same rate. I have never read any other books by Fleischman so I cannot compare this book to any of his other works. Does he always write in such a confusing manner? If so, I honestly won't read any of his books again because I hate his style. I would like to know what some others out there think, so please respond to this review. After reading this book for an English assignment I had to take a test on a computer and I did perfect, so I guess it isn't really that hard to remember but I still don't like the way it is written. Maybe the test I took was just extremely easy. What do you think? In conclusion, the book is very hard to follow and I don't like it but it has great detail. Bull Run is a great book for those with lots of time on their hands or a good memory.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bull Run talks about the battle of Bull Run. It is a great story and anyone who lives in the DC Metropolitan should read the story and you can find interesting info about the battle of Bull Run. Bull Run is located in Virginia. It is a very historic place. Anyone who thinks that history is fascinating should read this book. A must read for students in the Virginia area to learn more about USA's history and the battles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this for school, and we just finished it. Wow, i thought, so what? I think that Flieshman is a talented writer, but this books is is nothing! it is hard to explain but here it is: the book just flat out was not interesting, and was short and snappy: IT DIDN'T SPEAK TO ME IN AWY WAY, WHATSOEVER> I sorta felt like i was reading the script for a documentary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether reading it in school, or reading it at home, I call Bull Run 80% fiction. I understood the characters being fictional, but practically half of the events happening during the First Manassas was fake! You might wanna call it thrilling. Don't let that part get you down. Bull Run teaches you the 'basics' of the First Mannasas. The people go through what people in the mid- 1800's go through. It makes sense. Many of the characters are too, 'basic' meaning a painter, photographer, slave whose master dies, and a free brown American who enlists in the army as a white man. The book does say some bad words. It really doesn't matter though. The book is great and even though most of it is fake, the parts that are true are great.