Soldier’s Heart – Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers. (Idaho Falls Public Library Call # is YA FIC Paulsen, G)
Publisher – Delacorte Press: New York, New York, 1998.
Author – Gary Paulsen
I read this Civil War story to my youngest son, 13-years-old, who is in seventh grade. This book is about a fifteen-year-old, so eager to join up with the militia and experience adventure. But he is soon engulfed in a horrific struggle which leaves scars upon him for life.
The author opens the book with glamour and parades, but then he strips away the attractive facades to describe in vivid detail the dreariness, fear, and ruthless realities of war. From Bull Run to Gettysburg, we follow Charley hacking his way through Confederate rebels. There is only one lonely night of reprieve where he is exchanging tobacco and coffee across the river with the enemy.
Charley makes it through the war, but the book ends abruptly. Hauntingly.