Soldier's Heart - by Gary Paulsen
Charley Goddard, age 15, knew one thing, for sure. There was going to be a shootin' war and if a man didn't step lively, he'd miss it!
When young men go away to war, most of them are aware that they might be killed in action. What they rarely imagine is that they might survive. But survive, changed.
In the Vietnam War, when young men had people trying to kill them, saw their close friends and comrades dying around them and had to kill, and kill again, they sometimes came back, wounded psychologically as well as physically. People called this phenomenon, "post traumatic stress syndrome". During World War II when men and boys were torn apart in bloody carnage on the beaches of Normandy, they said the survivors had "Battle fatigue". In World War I, as young men coughed their lungs out with poison gas and were bombed senseless in the trenches, they called it "Shell shock".
In the civil war, they said you had a soldier's heart.
Charley Goddard, age 15, runs away to fight in the Civil War. He earns his soldiers heart.
Based on a real person, this is Soldier's Heart : Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers by Gary Paulsen
Last Updated: January 15, 2008