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The Battle Hymn Blues

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  62 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Stoney Nix can play anything, from Beethoven to the Blues, on his old rattletrap piano. It’s just a gift, and a good one. Music is his ticket out of Pinewood, Alabama, his ironic, dying hometown, where they reenact the Civil War but cancel marching band because it’s too small. Then Sadie Green, the hilarious and beautiful new girl (and Stoney’s major crush), convinces him ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published March 15th 2012)
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Jessica Grey
Feb 14, 2013 Jessica Grey rated it it was amazing
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book and it turned out to be one of the best books I read in 2012. The voice was fresh and made me THINK about this story - about the main character - for weeks after I'd finished.

One of the most interesting aspects of this book to me was how music was such an integral part of Stoney's existence. I live with people who have perfect pitch (thank goodness I don't, it seems more of a curse than a blessing) and live their lives to their
Apr 26, 2012 Rincey rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I downloaded this as a free Kindle download and read it during my free time and breaks at work.

I don't know, I just didn't get this book. The first half seems really interesting, I was really intrigued by the characters [especially Clyde] but then the big climax of the story happens and everything seems to fall apart from there.

***minor spoilers**

Ghosts??? Seriously, there were chapters of just the main character and ghosts. I understand that they were hallucinations, but what was the point?

Daniel Anuchan
Aug 14, 2013 Daniel Anuchan rated it it was amazing
Loved the book! Narrator's voice was entertaining and engaging, the theme was interesting, and the protagonist had a thrilling perspective. It would appeal to teenage boys.

I give it 5 stars for an American audience, but I would take off a star for international audiences because of its heavy reliance on the US Civil War. The constant references to music struck me as odd in a novel, but it could be appealing to the target audience.

Jul 03, 2012 Nichelle rated it really liked it
This book went far beyond the expectations I had for it! I really enjoyed it and I'll add it to my YA collection for my classroom and recommend it for boys (and girls!). It has a lot of history to it as well as a character that is very genuine. I really enjoyed Stony and his way of seeing the world through music. A really wonderful read!
Jul 07, 2012 Nora rated it liked it
This book is about Stoney, named after General Stonewall Jackson - his dad is a big Civil War buff - who from the beginning kind of gave me an August Rush feel... Stoney is really into music and hears it everywhere he goes. Stoney is from Pinewood, Alabama, a small old logging town. The book focuses on Stoney as a musician and his place in Pinewood before and after the climax, and how he adapted to his life after the climax.

This book started off really good and I was really into it. And then th
Mary Mathews
Jun 29, 2014 Mary Mathews rated it it was amazing
Although I am far past the "young adult" stage, I enjoyed this book. I found myself highlighting (on my Kindle) several passages that were so descriptive and imaginative that I did not want to lose them. Keep writing Baker Lawley.
Apr 18, 2012 Sam rated it really liked it
I thought I knew early on where this story was going--a typical coming-of-age for an uber-talented, misunderstood teen whose small town can't live up to his dreams--and then The Incident happens at the reenactment, and *then* some magical realism enters the story. Stoney, Clyde, Sadie, and (most of) the adults in their life are likeable characters that the audience cares about greatly.

If you liked Mango-Shaped Space, this has some common elements: synesthesia with music rather than color.

I rece
V. Gingerich
Jun 27, 2012 V. Gingerich rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Excellent young adult voice.

Not crazy about the ghosts/hallucinations or the drawn-out scene right before the ending.

Good characterization.

Language. It's a modern teen book, should've guessed.

Free on Kindle.

*Edited to add "hallucinations" and "drawn-out scene right before", since the ghosts weren't exactly ghosts and the actual ending was fine, really.

Jun 27, 2012 Debbie rated it it was ok
Made myself keep reading hoping it would get better.
A "Hand Funeral" REALLY???
Voices and sounds described in musical notes? REALLY???
Anja Mizner
Aug 10, 2012 Anja Mizner rated it did not like it
Strangest book ever...
Rebecca Goerz (Wheeler)
Jul 26, 2012 Rebecca Goerz (Wheeler) rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, ebook
Got for free on Amazon
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Baker Lawley has worked as a septic system tester, a lifeguard, a school uniform salesman, an editor, a freelance writer, and currently as a Professor of Creative Writing and English. He is an award-winning writer of young adult novels, short stories, and writing guides, with stories published in prestigious literary journals like Copper Nickel, The Cream City Review, Eleven Eleven, and The Southe ...more
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