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March Toward the Thunder

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  49 reviews
A unique perspective on the Civil War as only Joseph Bruchac could tell it. Louis Nolette is a fifteen-year-old Abenaki Indian from Canada who is recruited to fight in the northern Irish Brigade in the war between the states. Even though he is too young, and not American or Irish, he finds the promise of good wages and the Union?s fight to end slavery persuasive reasons to ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Dial Books
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  233 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I will readily admit that The Civil War is not my favorite time period in history. However, after having created a thorough unit on The Holocaust teaching solely through literature, I came to realize how much more interested my students were about learning about historical events. To that end, I am in the process of creating a literature unit for early American History. March Toward The Thunder is a story about The Civil War from a Canadian Indian boy's point of view.

Louis is barely 15, but he
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Bruchac is one of the best in writing native american Indian fiction. During the Civil War the fighting 69th(Irish brigade) were known as fierce fighters but they also lost more men than most. late in the war the military began recruiting anyone so indians young and old were allowed to fight in the white man's war. great detail of the battles.
Mrs. Hassig
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this Native American author. I have several of his books in my library. I am a major Civil War buff so this book struck my fancy. A really strong and spiritualistic main character, Louis, grabbed my heart strings from the start. He joined the Union at 15, and yes they took him in knowing that but not admitting it. I can't imagine my 8th grade boys going to war! His experiences at some of the worst battles of the Civil War will make you sick to the stomach as well as the heart. Our leaders ...more
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
As he lay in the stinking mud of the trench, Louis reloaded. Minie balls were whizzing past them from all sides. This Irish Brigade seemed an odd place for Louis, an Abenaki Indian. But they had one thing in common. Defeat the South and free the slaves. Would they be able to outlast the Rebs?
Dec 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Technically I didn't even read this. but. what I. did. read was /waaaaaaaaay. boring
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Historically accurate, well developed and love-able characters, and amazing setting descriptions, this book really helped me see and appreciate these soldiers, based off of soldiers who really did live and fight during the Civil War. The characters seem so real! There are many funny jokes and stories that balance out the sadness and brutality of war, without diminishing the seriousness of war.

Joseph Bruchac really has a way of making fantastic imagery in his books. You can sense, feel, see,
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a Young Adult book but I think anyone with an interest in the Civil War or American Indians would enjoy it. Bruchac tells the story of young Louis Nolette, an Abenaki Indian from Canada, who joins the Union Army in 1864. He based the character on his great-grandfather. Louis goes on to fight in some of the most horrific battles of the war--the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor..
Kate McCartney
I admit I don't know much about the Civil War, so I was uncertain about this book. I can't believe all the blunders and mess ups by the leaders of the Union Army! It is pretty amazing that they won. This is based on Bruchac's great grandfathers service in the Civil War. This is another one I can be thankful to the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, I doubt I would have read it if not for needing a book about War.

2017 Read Harder Challenge- book about War
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
A civil war story from the perspective of a Native American soldier. It's a solid story, engaging and well written. But there's not much of a plot. It's mostly just following the solider through the battles and the lulls, without a real sense of climax.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a really good book. But it could have been a lot better. It was good for the time being but I would not read it again. If you like Civil war books in and on the battlefield then this is the book for you!
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book seemed interesting to me while I read it. The main character is Louis Nolette, who is an Abenaki Indian from Canada. Louis and his mother were very poor and sold baskets for a living when his father died. Later in the book, he becomes a soldier and becomes a part of the Irish brigades. He gets discriminated as he was an Indian and was nicknamed "chief." In the battles, the author does a great, fantastic job explaining the setting. I also love this book because it shows the war through ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I should've actually updated this book more but I kept forgetting but I swear next book will be different. I enjoyed this book but the reading level was definitely below what I should've read. It was pretty simplistic and for a war book it didn't make me do a lot of thinking. It was mostly just saying what happened and didn't go into the horrors that they felt with war. For my next book I will certainly have a more Senior level book.
Brigid Armbrust
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
To be clear: I usually love Joseph Bruchac books. I was in 4th grade when I read my first book of his, The Winter People, and was enraptured by the storyline, characters, and vivid retelling of a historic event from a point of view that is often neglected in history books. Since then, I have read many of his other novels, including The Arrow Over the Door, Code Talker, and Hidden Roots. I enjoyed them all. But for some reason, this book just doesn’t do it for me.

My main issue with this book is
Ste Ven
So far this book as been tough to read. I find no reason to continue on with this. It hasn't made a impact to me yet. Let's hope the story gets better.

The book had no further interesting plot developments. I guess it was just kind of hard to understand the text, as it skips ideas and organizes chapters from specific dates. The story is about a indian- canadian teen called Louis. When he was a few years younger, he loses his dad in a drowning accident. He had gone off the another town for a
Not Joseph Bruchac's best novel. While he presents stunning historical detail when it comes to battles, dress, and the like, Louis Nolette is simply not that likable of a hero. It didn't take long for him to come across as more than a little whiny. The other soldiers couldn't make the slightest little tease towards him without Louis sticking out his bottom lip and whimpering, It's just because I'm an Indian. Even though the soldiers teased each other as unmercifully as they did Louis, and they ...more
Adam Berhow
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
March Toward the Thunder, by Marcus Bruchac is a very good book. It takes place in the civil war times. Louis is an indian boy, about 14 years old who some how in lists into the army. (Apparently he looked old enough to fight). He was doing it for money, and pride. He got caught up in the moment, and couldn't help himself.

I have interests in books where there is action yet there is enough information for the story to make sense. In this book it had just the right mixture in between the two.
C 4Lujin
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
In his novel March Toward the Thunder, Joseph Bruchac displays a descriptive story of the journey of a , young man through his fight in the civil war. In the beginning, a white man approaches Louis asking him to join the union in the civil war. The man finds out Louis is only “fifteen” but can get into the army because Louis “could pass for twenty” with his size (Bruchac 18). This moment when Louis gets the opportunity for battle changes his life as he can escape the poverty he is living in and ...more
Christopher Clark
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louis Nolette is a young Abenaki Indian living during the Civil War. When he meets a white recruiter who convinces him to sign up for the Union Army, he convinces himself that he is doing it for the money. He is drawn into a regiment of Irish nationals fighting for the Union Army, and after a few weeks training, they are sent into battle. The fighting changes him. He watches friends die and courageous acts as a southern general breaches their lines, is shot and valiantly retrieved by his men. ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
War stories are not my first choice when looking for a genre, but I picked this one up with a particular student in mind who truly enjoys them. That being said, I found March Toward the Thunder to be a very good book. As I have said in other reviews, the power of a true story well told is captivating, and this was no exception. The author bases this story on the life of his own ancestor, a young Native from Canada who joined up in the Civil War mostly for the promised money that would go to give ...more
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Joe Bruchac always shows care and accuracy in his incorporation of historical data in his narrative tales. Louis is a 15-year-old Native American boy from Canada who wants to be a part of something great. He joins the Civil War Union and lies about his age. While he encounters a lot of prejudice, his comrades develop a deep respect and admiration toward him.

While I think some readers may be turned off by the battle names and statistics, I appreciated learning about this time in our history. I
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. Although I read it in the 8th grade years ago, I still remember parts of it vividly.
It's the story of Louis Nolette, he and his mom sell baskets. Lovely. Well Louis finds out that the army is recruiting and that they pay fairly reasonably, so he applies. Although he is 15, he is big enough to pass off as 18.
Joseph Bruchac uses the character of Louis to show readers a very real, up-close perspective of war. There are some grisly scenes, and some hopeless scenes, and some
This book was... Interesting, I guess you could say. I'm not a big reader of Civil War books, but I gave this one a try. I'm conflicted about it though.
For one thing, it's definitely well written, and told from an unusual perspective. However, the book seemed repetitive. The main character's story went something like this: Fight, miraculously survive, hang out at the base while ignoring the constant danger, repeat. As a result, it wasn't very exciting or grabbing. Even so, I think the writing
English Education
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Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Abenaki Indian in the civil war. For folks who know the civil war, battle by battle, it's even better because (I'm told by my reading buddy) there's lots of good historical detail. What I loved is a 15 year old's vision of war, race, the cameraderie he feels with the men in his Irish unit, but the easier bond he feels with the other Indian he meets (Mohawk), and with his family back home...
Michael McCarty
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is about a Native American boy who decides to fight for the Union army in the civil war. At first he is made fun of and has no friends. But then everyone starts to understand he is not so different and makes friends. However he finds out about how bad war really is and the losses from war.
Jasmine Rockwell
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Boys may like the realistic war scenes but I found the flow of the story confusing. The main characters were enjoyable but I never felt like I was very connected to them. I think if Bruchac would have concentrated on fleshing out the main character's unique experience rather than reiterating how unpleasant war is.
Vicki Carbone
I picked up this book for several reasons: it's by an author whose voice I deeply admire, and it is about the Civil War, a time period of great interest to me. Turns out it was a fictionalized story of Mr. Bruchac's own great-grandfather, who fought with the "Fighting 69th", otherwise known as the Irish Brigade. It is a well written, interesting book.
Anthony Gonzales
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading this book I thought it was going to be a boring old informational book but as soon as I started reading I couldent put it down. I wanted to read a bigger book and this was one that I could read. It was longer pages and more descriptive than any other book I have ever read.
Brent Tompkins
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Personally this is one of the greatest books I have ever read! It is fiction and I do not useually read fiction, but this is historical fiction and it adds enough realism to give it a compelling storyline. In addition the characters are one of the many highlights in ths amazing story.I give it five out of five and I deffinitly recomend it.
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Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife, Carol, in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by ...more