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Charley Skedaddle

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  281 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 186 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Troll Communications (first published 1987)
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Jun 03, 2012 Adam rated it liked it
It's about a boy named Charley. He goes to the army to be a drummer boy or a bugler. At a confederate base he meats a man named Jem. When a war comes up Charley shots a man but he's not aloud to. He runs away because he shot the man.While running away he gets captured by a union soldier. He manages to run away. Eventually Charley meats a woman named Grandma Beth. He works with her as if she was his actual mom. When someone comes to the house Grandma Beth locks up Charley in the chicken coop. One ...more
M&rcu$ #u+chin$
Jan 04, 2011 M&rcu$ #u+chin$ rated it it was amazing
This book really teaches people about the true story behind the Civil War. the author wrote it so that it actually took you to the front lines of the war. Charlie became a POW (Prisoner of War for you civilians)and Patricia told the reader what the enemy did the POW's and people MIA (Missing in Action).
Oct 25, 2011 02JulianB rated it it was amazing
Charley skadaddle is a really heart touching book about young charley quinn who is in civil war i think this book is very touchy and sad but also it is about courage of a young civilian who has the most courage ive ever heard i never knew a book could just pop out and hit you like this one did.
Dylan Miller
May 11, 2010 Dylan Miller rated it it was amazing
Oct 04, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Charley Skedaddle is a really good book that I am reading, and I would of never found it without my tescher!
Dec 24, 2016 Diane rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Desperate to leave New York and the tyrannical reign of his soon to be brother-in-law, Charley Quinn joins a parade of Union soldiers on their way to shipping out. Charley is determined to avenge his brother's death, killed in the battle of Gettysburg. When he reaches Culpepper, he is taken on as a drummer boy and trained by Silas, who is anxious to put his drumming days behind him and enlist as a soldier. But when the battle is upon them, Charley finds the realities of war too intense and runs ...more
Mar 05, 2017 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 20, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: primary, fiction
Charley was a New York City Bowery Boy--a gang of young hoodlums who liked to fight. His brother was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. When Charley found out his sister was marrying a young man who did not want Charley around, he impulsively stowawayed with Yankee regiment on the way south to battle. Since he was only twelve, he could not fight, but he could be a drummer boy. In a battle in the Wilderness, his drum was hit with a lead bullet, When he turned, he saw a friend shot dead. He start ...more
Hagen S
Jan 03, 2017 Hagen S rated it liked it
charley skedaddle is a story about a boy named charley. he is a member of the bowery boys gang in new York. and the bowery boys worst enemy is the dead rabbits gang.

charley quints older brother was a part of the army and he died charley becomes a drummer boy for the army for his brother. his sister is getting married to a guy and charley does not like him so he leaves in to the army. he finds his brothers friend con that went to war with his brother but did not die. charley finds another friend
Feb 17, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: slib-520
Charley Skedaddle is a story about a 12 year old boy that wants to join the Union Army to honor his brother that died at the Battle of Gettsyburg. Charley ends up being a drummer in for the same unit his brother was in. After the first battle Charley's dream of being in the army changes drastically. The majority of the story is about him befriending a "mountain" woman living alone. Although Charley is a fictional character the story is based on true Civil War records.

Themes in this book include
Rachel Thomasson
Jun 16, 2013 Rachel Thomasson rated it it was amazing
If you didn't read this wayyy back in elementary school, I recommend you do so now! Despite the fact that my teachers kept calling it a "boy's book" I read it and loved it. Charley was a sympathetic character, caught in compelling circumstances, who took refuge in a region and culture in SW Virginia that I am very familiar with. Definitely an easier (and more entertaining) read than "Johnny Tremain", or that truly depressing "My brother Sam is Dead." I take issue with the other reviewers who are ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it
It was interesting to read Charlie Skedaddle and Shades of Grey at the same time for a 5th grade class. This book tells the story of a boy on the Yankee side while the other tells of the South. Interesting life lessons by both. This story I liked the characters, particularly the personalities of Canaan the mule and Malindy the goose- who had realistic natures of each respectively. I loved Jerusha. The story can be somewhat predictable, however it is a story set during the Civil War so we all kno ...more
Jennifer Robb
Jul 24, 2016 Jennifer Robb rated it liked it
Recommends it for: middle school age readers, civil war buffs
Recommended to Jennifer by: WPPL
Charley Quinn enjoys being a Bowery Boy in New York, but when his sister appears to plan on marrying a man who wants to send Charley away, Charley decides to leave on his own. He runs into a friend of his deceased brother who encourages Charley to join them as they head off to the Civil War. Charley is too young to be a soldier, but they do take him on as a drummer. Charley's romantic notions of war and of avenging his brother's death are shattered when he experiences his first battle and he run ...more
Aug 05, 2009 Swanbender2001 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My children enjoyed this story about a young Bowery boy from New York drawn to the lure of the war after his much-loved brother dies in the battle of Gettysburg. He sneaks aboard a transit and is allowed to stay with his brother’s regiment as the drummer boy. He finds himself in battle and freaks out. When he runs away from the battle after believing he has killed a man, he ends up finding refuge with a hill granny. Their relationship grows into one of caring for each other and he learns many le ...more
This was an interesting story, although I found it fascinating that the author was ultimately so ambivalent about the idea of desertion. She makes no real moral judgement and it's up to the reader to determine if a deserter can redeem himself by subsequent actions. It gives a realistic view of Civil War combat, as well as New York City and the Blue Ridge Mtns. during this period. Young readers will learn many interesting things about the time period and maybe decide for themselves whether Charle ...more
Dec 05, 2013 John rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
I began seeking out a few historical fiction type books to read with my 10yo son during our evening sessions, and thought this, along with Mr. Lincoln's Drummer looked promising.

The writing was even, and the idea of the story was OK, but as we went through it the plot plodded along without much spark or suspense. About 40 pages in we kind of looked at each other and just closed the book without finishing.

Perhaps the timing wasn't right, but just didn't work out for us.
Reading this with my kids right now in a Civil War Novel unit that I created. As you will see, I have 6 novels going in my room right now...and the two boys I have in this book really love it. It is set mostly in Virginia, has some decent battle scenes that are not too graphic for 4th graders (10 year-olds), and a few twists and turns to make it interesting. Stinky thing? It is out of print, so it is hard to find copies to buy.
Aug 11, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya-lit
I really enjoyed this book about a NY Bowery boy-turned Union drummer boy-turned runaway. The references and allusions to the NY street gangs of the 1800s, the authentic conditions of the civil war battlefields and soldiers' health, combined with several very memorable characters makes for a great read for upper elementary and middle school students, especially boys. The Underground Railroad is also a small but important part of the plot.
Dec 07, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Another Young Adult book -- this one for some advanced third grade readers I've been working with. Despite the violence in the beginning, I came to like it quite a lot, as it gives a good overview of historical issues from the Civil War period: New York City gangs, the war, slavery, border state geography, Underground Railroad, and so on.

I'm not sure that the kids liked it too much, though.
This a historical fiction story that takes place during the civil war. The story begins with charley, who is only 12 years old, in New York City. After he gets in trouble for fighting a rival gang member Charley runs away from home and enlists in the army, but once he gets into battle everything changes.
Feb 07, 2014 John rated it liked it
I read this because my Daughter had to read it for literature class in seventh grade. She was reading it for a report and I "Stole" it for a few days and read it also.
A very captivating read. It was hard to put down. Patricia Beatty draws you into the charactors of her books. I would like to read more by her.
Steve Hemmeke
Jun 06, 2012 Steve Hemmeke rated it it was ok

Some themes a bit advanced for the target audience of boys, but weaving in history of the Civil War was done well. Main theme was Charley's growth from his self-perceived cowardice and isolation into a useful and loyal man.
Oct 24, 2008 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 10, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it really liked it
Grades 4+. When his older brother dies at Gettysburg, Charles, age 12, joins the Union Army as a drummer boy but finds the horrors of actual war to be too much. He flees to the mountains of Virginia only to be taken captive by an old mountain woman.
Jan 27, 2009 Cheyenne rated it liked it
This book is about a young boy named Charley. He goes into the war as a drummer boy. He shot a confederate and didn't know what to do with himself. He couldn't take it. I really like the book although I'm not into the whole war thing. It was still a really good book.
Mar 04, 2015 Michelle marked it as to-read
Shelves: ref-booktalker
Listed as Q3 = A good story with some faults, P3 = A booktalk on this title will excite most people’s interest
Not the worst book I've had to read for school, yet it still wasn't that great...*sigh*
Jul 10, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it
accounts for the civil war from the eyes of a teenage boy
Feb 05, 2009 Cws added it
Shelves: jar-fiction
May 13, 2010 Nonederoyojo is currently reading it
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From Contemporary Authors Online: "Patricia Beatty's historical children's fiction invites readers to share in her fascination with the past. Reflecting her interest in meticulous research, which she likened to detective work, her stories recreate past times for modern readers. Critics cite her strong sense of humor, as well as a sharp sense of place, as strong points of her fiction. A committed f ...more
More about Patricia Beatty...

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