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At a time when most people have grown weary of the war between the states, two young children are desperate to find their way to the battlefields. Jeremy DeGroot wants nothing more than to join A perfect Common Core tie-in, Storm Before Atlanta includes backmatter with historical notes on slavery and underage soldiers in the Civil War, as well as a list of selected sources. Jeremy DeGroot wants nothing more than to join a troop as a drummer boy. For Dulcie, a runaway slave, freedom means she must head directly toward the fighting in the hopes that she'll become "contraband," that is, property of the Union troops.

But all that is threatened when they keep crossing paths with the mysterious Charlie, a young Confederate soldier, who may look like the enemy but feels more like a friend. Young readers who like their fiction filled with exciting historical details, rich characters, and action-packed adventures will be drawn to The Storm Before Atlanta. Get A Copy.


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Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Storm Before Atlanta , please sign up. My 5th great grandfather served in the th New York Infantry, the unit from this book. Did the author use any real life people or situations from this unit to write the book?

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Why did the author choose this specific unit? See 2 questions about The Storm Before Atlanta…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.

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Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 14, Margo Tanenbaum rated it really liked it Shelves: civil-war , slavery. There's no shortage of historical fiction novels for children about the Civil War, but with the th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict this year, this thought-provoking new novel by Karen Schwabach is a worthy addition to any school or public library's collection. The novel tells the story of ten year old Jeremy, who wants nothing more than to enlist in one of the New York regiments of the Union Army as a drummer boy and gloriously die for his country.

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Continually told he's too young There's no shortage of historical fiction novels for children about the Civil War, but with the th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict this year, this thought-provoking new novel by Karen Schwabach is a worthy addition to any school or public library's collection. Continually told he's too young to enlist, he goes off to find the war himself--to follow the army until they take him. Traveling to Georgia, Jeremy and the th become part of a new corp led by General Hooker, on the march.

It wasn't a soldier's business to know that. We're also introduced to to two other key characters, whose lives will become intertwined with Jeremy's: Dulcie, a spunky and very bright slave girl who runs away from her cruel mistress to find the Union Army, and eventually becomes a medic for a Union field doctor, and a friendly young Confederate soldier, Charlie Jackson, just a bit older than Jeremy, who's looking to trade for coffee or anything else.

War isn't as black and white as Jeremy had imagined back home. Jeremy knows that Charlie shouldn't really be his friend, but he's hungry for company his own age.

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And Charlie, on the Confederate side, wonders why he's fighting a war started by a bunch of rich men who "Told us we had to stand by the South. Then they went home to their families, to watch their slaves makin' money for 'em. Schwabach creates sympathetic characters in her three young protagonists, as well as a very convincing sense of place.

The reader feels right there in the middle of the action, as 98, Union soldiers march into Georgia complete with hundreds of wagons, cattle to be butchered, ambulances, servants, contraband slaves, and even some dogs and a pet pig. We experience along with Jeremy and Dulcie the chaos, blood, and horrors of the battlefield and its aftermath. There's plenty of action, drama, and even a surprise ending no spoilers here! The author includes a brief historical note with additional background information about the characters, many of whom were real people, and a bibliography of selected sources.

To learn more about events across the country commemorating the th anniversary of the Civil War, see the website of the Civil War Trust. Feb 03, Tracie D'angelo rated it liked it. It begins with Jeremy who's father is in jail and his mother died from fever. He is bonded to a man he calls Old Silas. At 10, Jeremy sees the Civil War as a place where he could have a place in the world and folks to call friends just like the Little Drummer Boy of Shiloh which was a war song.

After many failed attempts, Jeremy finally became a drummer boy for the th New York Volunteer Regiment. Dulcie was a slave in "The Storm Before Atlanta" is a book of many tales as most war stories are. Dulcie was a slave in Georgia.


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  4. With the Civil War getting closer to the plantation where she lived, the greater the opportunity to escape to freedom. Slaves were escaping and running to Union camps where they were considered war contraband. They were given clothes, food and chances to work for money. More importantly, they were free. Dulcie and Jeremy's story collide when Jeremy was secretly meeting with his new confederate friend and they both notice Dulcie in the river.

    After a quick fight, Jeremy is able to take Dulcie back to his camp where she begins to work for Dr. The two become friends as they share their experiences of a war that didn't meet their expectations in The Storm Before Atlanta. I'm not a war story reader.

    I actually really don't like any kind of military stories, but this one was a little better than others. It started off slow and really didn't pick up any speed until they very end. What I loved about the book is watching Jeremy and Dulcie grow. Jeremy began as an energetic kid looking for war fame, but when he sees "the elephant" he realizes that there's no glory in war and dying.

    Even the meaning behind the war itself gets a little fuzzy. At one part of the book Jeremy, Dulcie, and Charlie find an old village and Dulcie and Charlie tell Jeremy the story behind it. It made Jeremy think that something once worth fighting over had become an old story with faded details that no one was sure of. It made me think that this was a slight reflection on the Civil War. Dulcie, who once is considered a lazy slave, is a diligent, tireless medical assistant as well as an old soul who seems to understand a lot more than Jeremy. There were also a few things about the Civil War that I thought were interesting like soldiers form both sides would interact.

    Jun 19, Laura rated it really liked it Shelves: children-s , bes , , historical-fiction , middle-grade. Jeremy DeGroot, a poor boy from Syracuse, New York, enlists in the Union Army, hoping to start a new life while seeing some battle action. Since he is so young, he is assigned to be a drummer boy for the th New York Volunteer regiment.

    Once he reaches the battlefields of Georgia, he realizes, like most idealistic soldiers, that war is a moment of terror between long bouts of waiting and marching. He also meets Charlie, a Rebel soldier, and Dulcie, a runaway slave girl from a nearby plantation Jeremy DeGroot, a poor boy from Syracuse, New York, enlists in the Union Army, hoping to start a new life while seeing some battle action.

    He also meets Charlie, a Rebel soldier, and Dulcie, a runaway slave girl from a nearby plantation. Karen Schwabach has created rich, realistic characters that exist in a complex and changing world. This historical fiction novel is packed with authentic details and information about what a Civil War battle -- and its aftermath - were truly like. Some sensitive students might be upset by the descriptions of Dulcie's medic work, though the language is not too graphic or vivid. SLJ recommends this title for grades 5 - 8 and I agree.

    Mike Duncan, "The Storm Before The Storm"

    It's a longer novel and though Schwabach does a wonderful job of building a plot and including important information, readers with background knowledge about the Civil War will read and enjoy this title much more than those with little prior exposure. It's another long title and one that will take some selling to students.

    Students who like this book will most like enjoy Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains , a historical fiction book about a runaway slave set during the Revolutionary War. Nov 02, Nathan rated it really liked it. Jeremy DeGroot, a poor boy from Syracuse, New York, enlists in the Union Army, hoping to start a new life and also see some battle action.