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MARCH TOWARD THE THUNDER by Joseph Bruchac

MARCH TOWARD THE THUNDER

By Joseph Bruchac

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3188-2
Publisher: Dial

Fifteen-year-old Louis Nolette, an Abenaki Indian from Canada, enlists to fight with the Irish Brigade in the Civil War. Based on Bruchac’s own great-grandfather, Louis proves to be an able soldier in the Virginia Campaign of 1864. Ultimately, as in most wars for most soldiers, it isn’t politics or a cause, but the band of brothers forged on the killing fields of Virginia that makes Louis feel he belongs. The author’s extensive research is evident. In fact, Louis becomes something of a Civil War Forrest Gump. He meets General Ely S. Parker, the highest-ranking Indian in the Union army; receives treatment from Clara Barton; greets Walt Whitman; sees President Lincoln and Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant visit his camp; discovers a fellow soldier to be “a lass”; and befriends Thomas Jefferson of the United States Colored Troops, whose disconcerting dialect mars the scene. But Louis is a likable character and readers will follow him with interest, learning much along the way. (Fiction. 10 & up)