Charley Skedaddle
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Charley Skedaddle

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  206 ratings  ·  27 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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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$
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).
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.
Charley Skedaddle is a really good book that I am reading, and I would of never found it without my tescher!
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
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.
Rachel Thomasson
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
I almost feel bad about giving this a two. I read this for school, and it was so terrifically perfect up to the part where Charley runs away from the battle. Then it is SO TERRIBLY BAD.
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
Feb 14, 2014 John rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Sara K.
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.
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 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.
Catherine  Mustread
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.
Steve Hemmeke

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 26, 2008 Bryan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Great book about Civil War Virginia and the Blue Ridge mountains, two of my favorite subjects. The character of Granny Bent is developed very well.
May 13, 2010 Nonederoyojo is currently reading it
Christine Boyer
Mar 18, 2012 Christine Boyer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teachers of Civil War, 5th-6th grade
Recommended to Christine by: It's on our Boise curriculum list
Great way to teach the Civil War. My fifth graders loved it. Lots of good vocabulary and comprehension activities available.
Not the worst book I've had to read for school, yet it still wasn't that great...*sigh*
Jen Ozburn
Fun, easy to read historical fiction set in the Civil War.
Ashlyn Hamilton
IDK!!!!!!!!!! Dont like it AT ALL !!!!!!!!! (YET)
Used with my Civil War unit in the classroom.
May 14, 2010 Garrett is currently reading it
read for ur selves
Feb 05, 2009 Cws added it
Shelves: jar-fiction
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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
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