March Toward the Thunder

March Toward the Thunder

Louis Nolette, a 15-year-old Abenaki, and his widowed mother have migrated from Canada to New York State. As the Civil War takes its toll on soldiers from both sides of the conflict, a recruiter encourages Louis (despite his age) to join the 69th Brigade, an Irish unit renowned for its bravery. Enticed by the monetary benefits and hopeful that his mother can buy a farm, Louis, to his surprise, agrees. (His reasons are not only mercenary: Native Americans knew all too well what it was like to escape for their freedom and their lives. And slavery had long ago been abolished in Canada. "Why'd it take so long for the Union to free the slaves? Why was there slavery in the first place?...How can one man own another?...I've only seen fifteen winters, but it seems to me that slavery's what the battle ought to be about.") With warmth, humor, sensitivity, and an appreciation of the beauty of the world, the author describes the reality--and often futility--of war as seen through Louis' eyes. Unforgettable characters--from the very Irish Sergeant Flynn, to Merry O'Shea, a young recruit who joined to search for his brother (and whose real identity comes as a surprise), to Artis Cook, the Mohawk soldier Louis' platoon mates find for him so he will have an "Indian" friend--add to the charm of this eye-opening novel. Historical fiction fans as well as devotees of multicultural literature will love it. Recommended for ages 12-16.
Recommended by Basya Karp, Librarian.

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