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book cover
Myers, Laurie.
New York : Henry Holt, 2011
IL 3-6, RL 3.8
ISBN 0805088253
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Escape by Night is a short chapter book about a 10 year old boy named Tommy set during the Civil War Era in a small Georgia town.

Tommy’s father was pastor at the local church but due to the war the church has been converted into a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers. Tommy and his sister Annie are captivated by all the new soldiers arriving every day.  Wounded soldiers had been coming into Tommy’s town by large numbers.

The wagon that was passing the children was full of men that were not moving.  The smell was so foul that Annie thought she would get sick.  Tommy thought they must all be dead because they were so very still.  Just at that moment Tommy saw a one armed man with something under his arm.  Annie said. “It’s a book – maybe a Bible.”  Tommy thought it was “secret battle plans”.  The wagon was hit a rough spot and the book slipped out from under the man’s arm and fell into the middle of the street. 

Tommy wasn’t allowed to go outside that time of day, so he has his beloved dog, Samson, fetch the book. Tommy decides to return the book to the soldier at the hospital. At the hospital he makes friends with a man name Red. But Red has a secret; could it be that Red is a Yankee?!

What should Tommy do? Should he turn Red in or help him get away?

This is a coming of age story about a young boy deciding for himself what is right or wrong during times of war and what true friendship, loyalty and honor are all about.  (Booktalk by Gail Goldberg for 2014 Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice nominee)

SUBJECTS:       United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Fiction.
                    Conduct of life -- Fiction.
                    Christian life -- Fiction.

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