|Scar : a Revolutionary War tale|
Author: Mann, J. Albert
During the Revolutionary War, a young patriot and a young Mohawk warrior find themselves lying side by side, wounded and dying after the Battle of Minisink. As they face death, they grow to understand each other.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 181327
School Library Journal (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 5–8—The unlikeliest of heroes, 16-year-old Noah badly wishes to serve in the Continental Army, but a childhood accident that has left him lame prevents him from enlisting. After a Mohawk raid leaves their settlement in ruins, Noah treks to the nearest fort to inform the army and becomes swept up in the local militia's pursuit of the attackers. When the doomed retaliatory efforts claim most of the men, Noah flees, finding himself face to face with one of their enemies, a Native American boy about his age. Both boys are seriously wounded, are separated from their people, and have only each other to depend upon if they are to survive. Told in alternating chapters over the course of three days, Mann's re-creation of the Battle of Minisink and its aftermath straightforwardly introduces readers to events and figures seldom visited in children's books. While few would argue the Revolution's significance to the colonists, many forget that Native peoples fought a similar battle for basic freedoms during this time. Mann's narrative is unique in that it sheds light on this part of Native American history and, in particular, the Iroquois Confederacy's alliance with the British. At times, the historical conflict is overshadowed by the protagonist's inner struggles and memories, but the rich, exhaustive research is evident within the writing as well as in the biographical information provided at book's end. The epilogue's significance, easily the most fascinating part of the story, will likely be lost to some, but for readers interested in this time period, Mann has created a springboard for immersion in a sadly overlooked yet important part of our history. VERDICT A worthy purchase for its thought-provoking portrayal of a military skirmish seldom explored in children's literature.—Rebecca Gueorguiev, New York Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 Sixteen-year-old Noah has always felt that his maimed leg, the result of a farm accident, left him with something to prove. His overprotective widowed mother uses it as an excuse to keep him close to home and out of the fight for colonial independence, even though she doesn’t allow his condition to keep him from pulling his weight around the farm. When a British and Mohawk raid of Noah’s New Jersey settlement leaves several dead and homes reduced to ashes, Noah joins with local militia men and supporters from around the region to track down Joseph Brant, the Mohawk leader who led the raid, and take him and his forces by surprise. It’s a matter of historical record that their effort, the Battle of Minisink, failed tragically; Mann recreates the raid and the battle through the eyes of a fictional teen who, while dying beside a wounded young Mohawk he dubs “Scar,” belatedly comes to understand his mother’s wisdom, the true chaos of war, and the reasons the Mohawk might want to ally with the Tories. Readers familiar with Spillebeen’s World War I novel Kipling’s Choice (BCCB 6/05) will recognize the effective structure, in which a soldier dying moves between feverish reality and clear-minded memory as he reviews the decisions that led to imminent demise and realizes how it all went wrong. The compact structure, compelling flashbacks, and low page count will draw readers who don’t generally gravitate toward historical fiction, and the epilogue, bibliography, and thumbnail bios of the real life players will please dedicated history fans. EB - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 04/15/2016 Eager to be a hero in the Revolutionary War despite a childhood leg injury, Noah rushes off with the local militia to avenge a deadly British raid on his New York farming community. Downed by musket fire during a skirmish, he languishes in the woods, only to find an injured Indian boy nearby. Though he is at first furious to discover his “enemy,” Noah eventually begins to sympathize with the younger boy, whom he nicknames Scar due to a facial marking. Over the course of this fateful day in July 1779, the two manage to communicate. Noah’s insightful narration allows readers a glimpse into a tiny rural community’s life under British rule and provides a nuanced view of the tensions between settlers and natives caught in the cross fire of military strategy. A war story with plenty of plot—aided by Noah’s flashbacks and a somewhat surprise ending—this brief, thoughtful story also is a remarkable meditation on the horror and loss that war brings to a community. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.