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Charley Skedaddle by Patricia Beatty
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Charley Skedaddle (edition 1996)

by Patricia Beatty (Author)

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553532,987 (3.5)4
During the Civil War, a twelve-year-old Bowery Boy from New York City joins the Union Army as a drummer, deserts during a battle in Virginia, and encounters a hostile old mountain woman.
Member:lemeeks
Title:Charley Skedaddle
Authors:Patricia Beatty (Author)
Info:Troll Communications (1996), 186 pages
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Charley Skedaddle by Patricia Beatty

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At the start of the book, Charley lives in New York with his sister, Noreen. Their brother, Johnny, was killed in Gettysburg. Noreen uses Charley as an errand boy for her millinery and stitchery work and is seeing Mr. Demarest, a man who isn't fond of Charley. Charley is proud to be a Bowery Boy and as a Bowery Boy feels he must fight the rival groups. Charley overhears Demarest talk about sending him away so Charley decides to leave on his own. By chance, he happens upon a parade of soldiers and one of them is a friend of his brother's who is going back to war. He invites Charley to come along, but then promptly foists him off on another soldier.

Charley is too young to be a soldier, but they do take him on as a drummer. Charley's idealistic thoughts about war and about avenging his brother soon sour when he gets his first taste of battle. When he sees the man who befriended him go down, Charley ends up deserting his unit. He makes his way to the hills where an old herb woman takes him in. Over time, they come to trust each other--until the time comes that Charlie must leave to stay safe. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jul 24, 2016 |
Summary: A 12 year old boy, Charley Quinn, is a gang fighter in New York City’s Bowery. He decides to run off with the Union Army Soldiers. From there, he is taken on in Virginia as a drummer boy after his sister’s fiancé threatens to send him to an orphanage. During the fighting and desire to avenge his brother’s death, Charley shoots a Confederate soldier. He then runs in panic from derisive soldiers, running into a mountain woman. The woman makes him her mute “Boy” and over time the two become good friends. Charley learns from the old women through several events.
Reading Level: 4-8
Commentary: Charley’s brother was killed at Gettysburg and he wants to avenge his death. Shooting a Confederate soldier was a significant event in the book and Charley has difficulties he has to endure and solve throughout. This book could be used over the course of the Civil War unit. Not only can it be fun for students to just sit and listen to, it would also help with them relate to Charley on a kid level and understand the war better.
  rdg301library | Mar 3, 2015 |
This is about a young boy named Charley during the Civil War. Charley's parents died when he was young, and his brother was killed in the war. He lives with his older sister who is about to get married. When Charley overhears a conversation between his sister and her fiancee which amounted to his being sent to a home for boys if he didn't behave, he decides to run away. Charley meets his brother old regiment and decides to stow away and try to join the army. He is accepted as a drummer boy. During the first fight, he sees two of his friends killed and he picks up a gun and shoots a rebel. After doing so, he gets scared and runs off. Becuae he is now a deserter, he has to stay hidden. An old woman eventually finds him and dkeeps him with her to do work. At first she makes fun of him for being cowardly. He becomes attached to her. After saving her life and killing a mountain lion Charley realizes what true bravery is.
This is another one of those books that stuck with me from elementary school. I think it has a great lesson on real bravery.
I would have the students look up Civil War statistics, and write a report. ( )
  mmuncy | Oct 22, 2010 |
Story of a young boy who runs away fromthe gangs of New York to join the Union Army, like his brother. In a moment of panic, after shooting a Rebel, he runs away and is captured by a mountain woman, who holds him prisoner.
Great story. You watch the young boy grow up and become a person of character through the decisions he makes in times of trouble. ( )
  dbanna | Jan 20, 2009 |
As a member of one of New York's most notorious street gangs, Charley Quinn considers himself fearless. He joins the Union Army as a drummer boy to avenge the death of his older brother who was killed at Gettysburg, but when experiences the war for himself, he deserts the army. He's caught by an old mountain woman, Granny Bent. From her, Charley learns what courage really is.
It's been a long time since I read this book (I think it was 1997), but I loved it so much I read it twice in one summer. The character development is excellent, especially the progression of the relationship between Granny and Charley. Plus, it's a really exciting book.
I'd recommend this book for kids ages 10-13. It's an especially good choice for boys. ( )
  relientkatie | Jan 8, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia Beattyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stahl, Ben F.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In the hope that his generation will never have to go to war, I dedicate this book to my grandson, Seth Aaron Weiner
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As he set the hatbox on a crate beside him, Charley Quinn heard the words in his head.
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During the Civil War, a twelve-year-old Bowery Boy from New York City joins the Union Army as a drummer, deserts during a battle in Virginia, and encounters a hostile old mountain woman.

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