Synopses & Reviews
Johnny loves his Uncle Silas and his master's mule, Nell, but he hates being a slave. So when a group of soldiers marches by the farm and asks Johnny if he wants to join the Union Army, Johnny accepts, even though it means leaving Uncle Silas and Nell.
Being a soldier isn't easy. Johnny is given a chance to work with a soldier named Dave and the company's mule team, but he still wonders if he has made the right choice.
Then one night a hungry patrol is out on watch across the river from the camp, with no one to bring them food. Can Johnny handle the mule team all by himself?
This story was inspired by the life of John McCline, who, as a young boy, escaped slavery to serve in the Union Army.
A boy who hates being a slave joins the Union Army to fight for freedom, and proves himself brave and capable of handling a mule team when the need arises.
When Union soldiers march by the farm and ask Johnny if he wants to join them, the young slave quickly leaves the only home he has ever known, takes a job working on the company's mule team, and risks his very life doing dangerous tasks in the hopes that it will lead to becoming a free man at the end of the Civil War. Reprint.
Johnny loves his uncle and his master's mule, but he hates being a slave. So when he's asked to join the Union army, he accepts. Being a soldier is hard work, and Johnny wonders if he made the right choice. But when the army needs him, Johnny knows it's up to him to come to the rescue!
With simple but engaging text, paintings, and an illuminating author's note telling the true account of a young slave who joins the Union Army, this tale of a real person's role in the Civil War is ideal for beginning readers and burgeoning history buffs. Full color.
About the Author
Brian Floca has written and illustrated the picture books Five Trucks; the ALA Notable Children’s Book The Racecar Alphabet; and the ALA Notable Children’s Book and Robert F. Sibert Honor Book Lightship. His most recent book is Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, which Kirkus Reviews described as “Breathtaking, thrilling, and perfect.” Brian has illustrated The Hinky-Pink, by Megan McDonald, also an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and several books by Avi, including the graphic novel City of Light, City of Dark and Poppy, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. A native of Texas, Brian currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit him online at brianfloca.com.