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Der Russländer

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  159 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A sixteen-year-old farmhand is tricked into fighting in the Napoleonic Wars by the farmer for whom he works, who secretly substitutes him for the farmer's own son.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published August 2002 by Oetinger (first published 2002)
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Feb 23, 2008 Oscar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book could have been so much better if it just explored the relationship between Adam Neve and Konrad Klara more honestly.

The book has an interesting plot: a farmer's servant (Adam) gets falsely enlisted in Napoleon's army to battle the Russians (Adam is mistaken for the farmer's actual son, who is supposed to fight in the war). The unfit-for battle-Adam (because he is underage)travels with a hard-ass who physically abuses him, and then is taken under the wing of a lieutenant, Konrad Klara
May 03, 2010 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by a friend with excellent taste, so I started reading it the moment I could. I think giving a detailed summary of the book is really unneccesary, since several others have already done that and I'm not Wikipedia in any case, so I'll just give the things I liked and disliked about it (and isn't that what reviews are for anyways?).

I was a little baffled by the beginning of the book, which had a generic play-by-play style, but quickly moved into a broader, more gen
The best thing about this book is that it tells a story not often told, of those who fought under Napoleon. It starts out pretty good too, with a farmer sending his servant to war, instead of his son, who was actually the one conscripted. Unfortunately, not a lot happens after that. Oh, there is some (lots actually) gore and dead bodies, and some illness, but Adam never actually fights another soldier. It's more a tale of an unusual friendship, with an unusual background.
Lisa Thornburg
Apr 07, 2013 Lisa Thornburg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story about a young 16yr old servant who gets tricked into the army. He forms a great friendship with a 17yr old Lieutenant. They experience so much and struggle to stay alive. I love how they form this great bond and think of each other as brothers. It goes to show that family does not always have to mean blood related. They protect and look out for one another.
Mr. Canning
My Rating: **** 4 Stars, I really liked it. 6th Grade Shelf

I really enjoyed this book. It is just before Napoleon's invasion of Russia and he is grabbing every young man he can get to go fight. Adam, a farmhand, is conscripted into the army to join this fight. He is abused by his sergeant, Krauter, a cruel and murderous man. but is taken in to assist a Lieutenant who is no older than him. They form an unlikely friendship that takes them through Russia in the summer through the winter. Holub, a W
Hazel West
Thoughts on the Overall Book: This was one of those books I picked up from the library with a 'well, this could be good' and ending up really enjoying it a lot. It kind of surprised me, because I thought it was going to be a kind of more depressing thoughtful war novel, but Adam was a great narrator and he had a very spunky attitude, so it wasn't overly dark. I love anything from the Napoleonic time period, and I truthfully don't think I have ever read anything about a person who was in Napoleon ...more
Nov 20, 2013 Jared rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Innocent Soldier

This book is a bout a young boy named Adam when he was forced to join napoleon's army in 1812. You will read about his terrible life in this occupation, Adam goes to Russia to war but he escapes and he is free by a lieutenant that he owes his life to. He will soon discover that he was one of 300 that survived the Napoleon's war with Russia. Adam also gains a new relationship with the lieutenant who he accompanied
what I think the theme of this book is that even when everythin
Devin Logan
Can you imagine being a 16-yr.old farmhand( help on farm. no pay) and having no one you consider family except for your farmer.Then, the one you considered family, put you in the war in place of his own son.But you were so mentally and commonly blind to see that your farmer betrayed you and you thought it was a mishap. Well, that is what happened to Adam Feutchter. He later would become known as Georg Bayh9 his farmer's sons name).

The setting of this story is in the winter season and all year of
Sep 21, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 8-11
I found this book to be a delightful piece of historical fiction, rich in detail, history and even humor. :) As Adam begins the story in his own words, I was hooked instantly.

Here's a short *grin* summary:
The book begins in 1811 in pre-unification Germany as a farmer enlists his unwitting farmhand, Adam, in Napoleon's Grande Armée under the name of his only son, Georg Bayh. The bewildered teen, who is sure that this great mistake will eventually be rectified, trains dutifully despite being cont
Mohamed Sall
This book pretty decent, in my opinion. The plot had a nice story, but one dislike that I have for the book is its lack of action. To me, it seemed like the majority of the book, Adam, the protagonist was quarreling with Sgt. Krauter. The times in the book where there was the most action were the moments when the cavalry approached Moscow.

However, I thought that Josef Holub did a fantastic job in the beginning. I was completely confused when the farmer took Adam to town and found out that he wa
Gordon Pennington
This book received the Mildred L. Batchelder award. This story is set back in the nineteenth century in pre-unified Germany. Adam an orphan who becomes enlisted in Napoleon’s army by the farmer under which he works. The farmer enlists him under his son’s name, Georg Bayh. Adam is a young boy only in his teens. He suffers ridicule from the sergeant under which he works. Finally, a young lieutenant needs a servant and Adam gets the position. The terrors of war are echoed throughout the book and af ...more
Mar 19, 2014 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
Excellent story of the life of a young boy in Napoleon's army circa 1811 or so. I liked the detail of what he went through as he struggled to stay alive; forget the war itself. Napoleon's grandiose plan to conquer Russia, was based on the idea that Russia would surrender once the army made it to Moscow. Of course we know now that the this was a stupid assumption and thousands of lives were lost on the difficult march there and back again.
Stephanie A.
That was indeed a decidedly gay story ("not that there's anything wrong with that"). A good one, despite the fact that the title character seemed a little thick, and surprisingly sobering when it came to describing the harsh realities of war while still being YA-appropriate.
Carol C
I didn't know anything about Napolean's campaign in Russia, so I learned a little bit when reading this book. The two main characters develop a caring relationship with each other, but it wasn't really evident why. Their relationship is only shown on a surface level, with no dialogue really showing how they became so close. The storyline was very matter-of-fact, which could be why the 14 year old boy in the house liked it so much.
Jun 27, 2012 Rhett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book of all time. Unfortunately it hasn't had the recognition it deserves yet, but it is by far my favorite book. The way the author carries you along with the character by writing in First Person, Present Tense makes following a soldier in The Napoleonic Wars truly exciting. The main characters constant optimism keeps the book from depressing you as the story is constantly worsening for the poor 16 year old Soldier. The other most interesting thing about this book is that th ...more
Dec 01, 2013 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that the book was a good representation of what war actually does to people. I like how it was first person because you can see his point of view. You can tell how war has affected him while he was in Napoleon’s army. This book would be great for anyone who likes war novels or great adventures. I always liked reading war novels and this one is one of the best I’ve read in a while. It was easy to read so almost anyone could read it.The book does a good job of following Adam threw the str ...more
Peyton Mosley
I enjoyed reading this book, even though it was kind of...slow. I am not really into war books, so there wasn’t anything that sparked my interest within the plot. The main character Adam annoyed me because his naïvety jumped out at me on every single page. His thoughts just seemed really shallow. The story line was okay, but there seemed to be a lot of pages where nothing really happens. Also, I was kind of disappointed by the ending. The whole book builds up and the reader is wondering the whol ...more
Sep 13, 2009 Pume rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a good read. The book was called an innocent soldier. The book starts out when a farm boy is taken into napoleans army. he is then assigned a lieutenant. After being separated from the rest they bonded.

This book reminds me of when Ishmael Beah was forced to join the army. In a way they both had no choice.

If i had to rate this it would be a 4. I think that the best part is when adam started bonding with the lieutenant. Even though theyb were from two different worlds. I think what
Apr 14, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
In 1811 Napoleon in his greed after conquering much of Europe, amasses his Grande Armee' to conquer Russia with 450,000 troops. Ill prepared to properly feed and clothe the army and due to his misconception of the vastness of Russia, Napoleon is turned back after Moscow is intentionally burned by Czar Alexander, turning back the no so Grande ARmee. One of many soldiers who were recruited was Adam, a simple farm hand(orphaned) and this is his sotr of survival from those within the GA (Sergeant Kr ...more
Lisa Le
First of all, does anyone else think Adam on the cover looks like Taemin from SHINee?
Anyways, pretty good book. I was slightly disappointed with some aspects of it ,though. No actual combat, but rather the author shys away from battle. Sergeant Krauter's mistreatment of Adam was also unexplained, and the relationship between Adam and Konrad Klara could had more chemistry, but I guess it was perfect to avoid controversies, and the book was seemed more of like a diary, so it's all good.
Apr 02, 2007 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens who like historical fiction
Shelves: teenbooks
A historical novel about Napoleon's abortive attempt to invade Russia in 1812. Adam works for a farmer who, in a desperate attempt to save his own son, volunteers Adam in his place. Adam is now a soldier in Napoleon's Grande Armee. He spends much of his time as a servant for a young aristocrat. The two forge a bond of friendship when Adam cares for his master when he is stricken with dysentery. The book is rich with historical detail but a bit slow in pace.
a very powerful book. Definitely recommend it to young readers.
Jun 15, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical fiction war novel with a decidedly anti-war stance. It stars Adam, a young farmhand conscripted into Napoleon's army in 1811. Adam becomes the servant of a noble lieutenant, and eventually befriends him as they bear the harshness of war together. There isn't any battlefield action, but death and gore abound, so those with weak stomachs should take caution. A bit slow but worth it. More of a 4.5.
Jan 07, 2008 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A look at the hardships of Napoleon's army's retreat from Moscow, interwoven with a story of friendship formed in unlikely circumstances. The writing style and phrasing can sometimes be peculiar -- don't know whether that is just the translation or if it also exists in the original. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it greatly -- it has become one of my winter re-reads.
Brie Cheese
This was a very good book which showed how no matter how different the worlds people come from, they can always manage to become friends. This story gave me a sense of hope and made what some might find to be a boring history story of Napoleon's grand army become a great adventure. It is easy to relate to the characters although it happens in the past.
This book was a surprisingly good read. The story of an unlikely friendship during wartime caught my interest and I found it very easy to read. I had never heard of this book before and am glad that I was able to discover this interesting story.
May 22, 2009 Fergman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
this book was soooooo boring....... i got to page 82 and i just couldn't finish. As i was reading o told myself not to give up on the book, but it just got worse..... there was no way i can finish it.
Dec 04, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Napoleon's March on Moscow signaled the end of his reign. I thought this story did a great job in portraying history from the view point of one of the low ranking soldiers in the Grande Armee.
Feb 28, 2011 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-reads
An orphaned in constripted into Napoleon's army from a small country village in the place of his master's son. A look at the grimness of war. A good historical fiction piece for teens.
well. i gave up on this book before i was finished reading it. which is the danger
of writing one of those march through the cold harsh nature parts of a plot.
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Josef Holub was born in Neuern, Bohemia, and lived through the Second World War in his early teens. By his own account, he has earned his living as a smuggler, a mason, a mail carrier, a postal administrator, and a village mayor. He published his first book, a memoir of his own war years, in 1997, when he was sixty-seven. Since then, he has published six more books and has won many awards, includi ...more
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