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3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  104 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews

With the United States on the verge of civil war, Elijah Tully and his father ride out of Kansas as Jayhawkers, guerrilla fighters against slavery. After his father is killed, Lije goes undercover among the proslavery bushwhackers. Swept into a grisly raid, Lije unexpectedly stands face-to-face with his father's killer -- but is veng
Paperback, 214 pages
Published October 19th 1995 by HarperCollins (first published October 1st 1991)
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Courtney Weber
May 09, 2015 Courtney Weber rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed reading this book. I am in a history class right now at KU for the history of Kansas and it was very similar to what we learned in class. This book put the information we learned into a story which made it much more fun and interesting. I even think I may have understood Jayhawkers more from this book than I did in class!

Read Aloud: This would be great for a social studies/history lesson. Like I said earlier, I even learned a lot more from this book than I did
Alyssa Ruehl
Apr 27, 2015 Alyssa Ruehl rated it really liked it
Personal reaction
I enjoyed the suspense within this novel. I love how a twelve year old can be so brave, and risk his life for the better of the country. It is fascinating, and I wish I read this when I was younger so I knew what a Jayhawker was and how dedicated to freeing the slaves they were.
read aloud to make a curricular connection
This book would be great for a social studies unit on the Civil War. Many students not from Kansas have never heard of Jayhawkers or Bushwackers, so it would b
Melissa Stasi
Apr 12, 2015 Melissa Stasi rated it did not like it
My first impression of this book was that it was very serious and not so interesting because it contained lots of historical facts and figures that many children I know would not like to read by choice. In this book, Elijah Tulley (Lije) is growing up during the Civil War but before the war even happens, he joins his father in tending the family farm in Kansas. His father, Absalom, is a Jayhawker and joins men in running to Missouri to free slaves. Finally when Lije is old enough to join his fat ...more
Kathryn Reeder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2016 Drake rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
It was a good book overall, but the beginning was very slow and kind of boring really. I enjoyed the parts where it got into where he was a spy. The war parts were the best because it was my thrilling. There was a little bit of a love aspect when the main character gave a girl he just met his old horse, and fell in love with her right then. The end was a little sad because his hometown got raided by the southerners and he was somewhat a part of it. Overall a good book, with a little comedy becau ...more
Miss Amanda
gr 5-8 202 pgs

Kansas,early 1860s. 12 year old Elijah wants to be a jayhawker, riding into slave state Missouri freeing slaves and fighting with pro slavery bushwhackers, just like his father. When Elijah's father invites him along, Elijah is thrilled. But the mission goes horribly wrong and Elijah's father is killed. Then Elijah is offered an opportunity to become a spy with a group of bushwhackers including Jesse James, Charley Quantrill, and Jim Hickok. Elijah accepts.

Really interesting story!
Nov 10, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: primary, fiction
I really liked Jayhawker, another in a group of civil war historical novels written by Patricia Beatty. The main character is a young preteenage boy who has moved to Kansas with his family to help stop the spread of slavery into Kansas and to help free Missouri slaves. When his father is killed in a raid into Missouri, he is taken by abolitionists into Missouri to join Quantrill's raiders as a spy. His experiences lead him into meeting the Youngers, Jesse James and others who were part of Quanti ...more
Zach Naegele
Jul 13, 2011 Zach Naegele rated it it was amazing
In this book Elijah Tulley, aka Lije, is growing up during the Civil War. As a young boy, before the Civil War begins, Lije joins his father in caring for the family farm in Kansas. He learns to ride horses and how to shoot as well. Lije’s father, Absalom, joins several other men in making runs to Missouri to free slaves. Men who make these runs to retrieve slaves from Missouri and bring them back to Kansas are called Jayhawkers. Finally Lije is old enough to join his father on these midnight ru ...more
Elijah Tully’s family lives in Kansas just over the Missouri line. His parents are staunch abolitionists and want Kansas to be a slave-free state. Elijah’s father goes on slave stealing (also called liberating runs) with John Brown, the famous abolitionist. ON a raid into Missouri, Elijah sees his father and their neighbor killed. Elijah is severely beaten. Eventually Elijah is recruited by the abolitionists to be a spy in Missouri. Elijah stays at a slave owner’s house and listens for informati ...more
May 27, 2015 Carrie rated it it was ok
Rushed. That is what I thought of this book. It felt like the author wanted to get through background to get the character to a point in the book. It could have utilized flashback more effectively. Our 7th graders read this; I wanted to read it to have some common ground with the 8th graders I will now teach. This just wasn't great.
Majed Alorene
Nov 13, 2009 Majed Alorene rated it really liked it
Hi Nancy here are two answers for questions 9 and 13.
I read 202 pages.

Q 9: the first quistion for Lije's father, he said proudly "Mr. Brown, that's exactly what we are,soldiers. That's what Lije'll be" The question is "if Lije twelve years only why you encourage him to be a solder? Are you pessimist for the war with Missourian?

My question for the author how can a young boy in the age of thirteen to become a warrior, and he could not fight in this age, do you think best if he is at least eightee
Dec 19, 2008 Troy rated it it was amazing
Patricia Beatty does a fabulous job writing about Kansas' violent history. She gives life to "bleeding Kansas". The main character, Lije Tulley, endures death, fear, and living under an alias. He works to free slaves from Missouri and aid the Union Army. Beatty, uses realistic situations and historically accurate events to help bring life to this great Kansas book. Other significant characters are Frank and Jesse James, Charley Quantrill, and Jim Hickock. Most of the story takes place near Lawre ...more
Ethan Reiter
This book was very exciting and kept making you want to read to the next page. It was a great story and taught me a lot about that time period that I didn't already know.
Feb 14, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book since it is about the area where I live. I have visit many of the towns and study all of the historical characters. Even my home town is mentioned. But even if you don't live in the KS/MO area it is a interesting because it is very good example of what "Bleeding Kansas" was like.
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 10, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it really liked it
Grades 5+. At the beginning of the Civil War, Kansas farm boy becomes a jayhawker, an abolitionist raider freeing slaves from Missouri, and then goes undercover as a spy.
Apr 06, 2012 Kayla rated it really liked it
This book is really good. Lije is a very determined and courageous boy who wants to help with abolition. The book is very interesting to read.
Aug 06, 2009 Katy rated it it was amazing
An excellent story about a boy fighting in the Civil War. Good story for upper elementary students
Jan 10, 2013 Dante rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2008 Rose added it
Shelves: childrens
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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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