In 1862, the midst of the Civil War, fifteen-year old Sam Wood tempts fate when he forges his grandfather's name and convinces his best friend, Albert, to enlist in the Confederate Navy.
Unfortunately, life on board the ironclad CSS Arkansas proves to be more grueling than Sam had imagined. Hours of hard work leave him exhausted and disillusioned. It strains his friendships and morale.
As the Arkansas forges down the Yazoo River and on to the Mississippi toward Vicksburg, the passage becomes a fight for life and death in which Sam is ill-prepared. When the horrors of war become reality, he must question whether the cause of war was worth the consequences.
Sam says it best himself, "War had not made a man of me. It had only killed the boy I was."
The Passage by James Killgore contains a chilling lesson that war does not always make a man. A well researched novel that leaves the reader questioning whether there is any glory in becoming a soldier. The lessons learned are profound and the reference to the real CSS Arkansas make The Passage a story that will hit home to Civil War History buffs. Highly recommended historical fiction suited for teenagers ages 12-16.
Peachtree Publishers (October, 2006)
Pages: 249 hardback
Ages: 12 and up
ISBN 13 1-56145-384-6
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