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Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulsen
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Soldier's Heart (1998)

by Gary Paulsen

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
A little too descriptive of the horrors of war for my taste. But I also never got a feel for the main character, or any other character. It's a quick read, and it describes the battles Charley Goddard was in, but you never feel fully in sympathy with him. ( )
  ErinMa | Feb 22, 2019 |
Charley Goddard enlists in the Civil War at too young of age. He leaves his family in hopes to earn them some money and see what the war life is all about. He endures traumatic experiences in the war and ends up surviving many tragic events. ( )
  mckinzietangen | Feb 7, 2019 |
Soldier's Heart is about a fifteen-year-old boy named Charley Goddard. Charley joins the First Minnesota Volunteers at the beginning of the Civil War. Although just fifteen, he would be in some of the most famous battles of the Civil War. This book tells about some of these battles and what Charley would go through durning and after the Civil War.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is written from the perspective of a young soldier and follows him from the beginnig of the war to the end. I would recommend this book to middle school and/or high school. It deals with war, death, bravery, depression, PTSD, and innocence lost. The conflicts in this book are character versus society, character versus character, and character versus nature.

Classroom extensions:
Science: Research the symptoms of typhus and dysentery and how they are spread. Determine what conditions in Civil War Army camps led to these diseases.
History: Use reference books to research Charley's general, George McClellan.
Math: Create a graph with three bars to compare the number of deaths of Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers, and the number of soldiers that died from disease. ( )
  joaplant | Mar 26, 2017 |
This story follows a fifteen year old boy named Charlie Flemming. He saw the propaganda's' advertisements and decided that he wanted to join the army. Even though you had to be eighteen to enlist, he lied about his age.Luckily,(or perhaps in this case, unluckily)he was very tall, and they let him in. He was told time and time again by his mother not to join, but he did anyway. He was sent off thinking about the honor, glory, and excitement of battle. He was instead taken to a camp far from home where he endured weeks of endless, thoughtless, mind numbing, drilling. For Charlie, loading his musket became second nature. He endured battles and had to deal with many physical and emotional trauma. When the war was over, Charlie lived in a little shack, with injurys and PTSD. He died in his mid 20s. Gary Paulsen's novel inspired by the Red Badge of Courage proves the point that he stated himself, "War is always, in all ways, appalling".


What I liked about his book is that its a story, not a dream, a fantasy. It paints an all to accurate picture of what war is, behind the camouflage vests, and the guns, and the fighting. It follows someone who knew what it was like under all of that. It also demonstrate how far we've come from calling everyone who wasn't normal a retard, which is good. We now have ways of treating people who've seen things like Charlie. Hopefully we can cure PTSD, but those few will always have a soldiers heart. ( )
  KaiY.B1 | Oct 27, 2016 |
Charley, who is 16, lies about his age and volunteers to fight in the Civil War. The book outlines the battles and struggles Charley encounters in the war and after the war.
  Jennaclubb | Sep 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Dedicated to Mike Magee - friend, sailor, and one who understands...
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Foreward: War is always, in all ways, appalling.
He heard it all, Charley did; heard the drums and songs and slogans knew what everybody and his rooster was crowing.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440228387, Mass Market Paperback)

In spare, almost biblical prose, Gary Paulsen writes of the horrors of combat in a Civil War novella that puts a powerful, more contemporary spin on Stephen Crane's classic The Red Badge of Courage. Based on the life of a real boy, it tells the story of Charley Goddard, who lies his way into the Union Army at the age of 15. Charley has never been anyplace beyond Winona, Minnesota, and thinks war would be a great adventure. And it is--at first--as his regiment marches off through cheering crowds and pretty, flag-waving girls. But then comes the battle. Charley screams, "Make it stop now!" disbelieving that anything so horrible could be real. Paulsen is unsparing in the details of what actually happens on the battlefield: the living men suddenly blown into pieces, the agony and fear, the noise and terror, the stinking corpses. After many battles, Charley is wounded and sent home an old man before he is 20, his will to live destroyed by combat fatigue--leaving him with a "soldier's heart." Paulsen has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and several Newbery Honor awards for previous work, but this superb, small masterpiece transcends any of his earlier titles in its remarkable, memorable intensity and power. (Ages 12 to 15) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:27 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

» see all 2 descriptions

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