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An Innocent Soldier

av Josef Holub

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1515133,585 (3.56)14
A sixteen-year-old farmhand is tricked into fighting in the Napoleonic Wars by the farmer for whom he works, who secretly substitutes him for the farmer's own son.

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Visar 5 av 5
To be honest, I did not particularly care for this book, which was disappointing because I thought it was going to be really good. The book follows a young, underage, soldier. The boy, a young farmhand by the name of Adam, was taken to the military recruiters despite his age. In fact, the farmer who took him to the military outpost forged Adam's name by labeling Adam by his son's name. Despite the fact that he was clearly underage, the military accepted him anyway. From there the book follows his long journey to France. Adam faces a lot of challenges along the way. He battle fatigue, escapes death, and all the while matures well beyond his years as a result. The book to me seemed to be written in such a way that it was a turn off. Instead of using simple sentences, the author goes off on long tangents in order to convey simple messages. This grew tiring to me and it wasn't until about page 130 when I actually started to enjoy the book. ( )
  chris.coelho | Sep 23, 2011 |
Young Adult. Spoiler. This is the story of a peasant boy in middle Europe somewhere who is part of Napoleon's invasion of Russia. He works as a farmhand but then the Farmer's son gets drafted & the farmer sends the farmhand instead. He has no idea what is happening. He is very young and seems stupid but is mostly young and naive. An equally young lieutenant takes him as his servant & the 2 go through the war together, managing to survive. At the end, the main character is now a Sergeant (I think...or soon to be one) and stays in the army, the Lieutenant is back with his noble family convalescing. There is an evil Sergeant who is pretty unbelievable, he is like a myth; he keeps reappearing and seems to be the leader of a band of black marketers. He is like a shadow that reappears throughout the book.
  franoscar | Aug 6, 2010 |
Adam, a 16-year-old orphan working as a farmhand in a small village in France in 1811, is drafted into Napoleon's Grand Army by his Farmer. Ripped from the life he knew and thrown into a completely new routine, Adam must face the harsh realities of war alone. Eventually, a young lieutenant takes him on as his personal servant, and the two forge a bond that helps them survive through an extremely harsh adventure. The book is an interesting historical tale that reads pretty easily for grade school readers. The book would be a good group-read because of the graphic material, but the relationship between the two boys is endearing and the overarching message of friendship is valuable. Ages 10-14 ( )
  rheasly | Jan 17, 2010 |
A good war story.
  claytonstudents | Oct 21, 2007 |
Two Reviews from Amazon:
1. From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–The book begins in 1811 in pre-unification Germany as a farmer enlists his unwitting farmhand, Adam, in Napoleon's Grande Armée under the name of his only son, Georg Bayh. The bewildered teen, who is sure that this great mistake will eventually be rectified, trains dutifully despite being continually harassed by a sadistic sergeant. He is saved when a young aristocratic lieutenant needs a servant, and his situation greatly improves. This is a tale of unlikely friends marching from Germany to Moscow with Napoleon's ill-fated invasion of Russia. While few battles are detailed, readers experience all of the horror, drudgery, and absurdity of war. Vivid descriptions include the endless walking, hustling for boots and warm clothing, gnawing hunger, and dysentery. Old-fashioned rules of engagement, etiquette, and a strict class system are all seamlessly worked into Adam's believable narrative. The boy grows from being a scared child to an obedient servant, to becoming a capable and resilient, if arguably less innocent, soldier. The first two thirds of first-person account are rich in period detail, but rarely broken up with dialogue, making it a tad slow going. The pacing somehow echoes the experiences of Napoleon's coalition army. Things pick up during its retreat, as the danger increases and the boys are able to lay aside class strictures to forge a true friendship. This is a well-wrought psychological tale that might have a difficult time finding an audience, but has a lot to offer to those seeking to build a deep historical fiction collection.–Christina Stenson-Carey, Albany Public Library, NY

2. From Booklist
Gr. 8-11. In this unevenly translated novel, a teenaged farmhand is forced to take part in Napoleon's ill-fated Russian campaign. Unsuspecting orphan Adam is handed over to recruiting officers by the farmer he works for as a replacement for the man's drafted son. Assigned to the horse artillery, Adam leads a miserable life until the blue-blooded Lieutenant Konrad Klara requisitions him to become his personal servant. The young men head toward Moscow, but are soon overcome by hunger and disease. After witnessing many wartime atrocities, the two survive the suicide march out of Russia and form an unlikely bond that transcends class and station. Other than a brief historical note, little background information is given, assuming much prior knowledge on the part of the reader, and though the novel is evocative in places, the translation is replete with odd-sounding phrases and awkward transitions. The book's greatest strength is the friendship: a bond formed by two motherless boys from different classes who find common cause in an unwinnable war. Jennifer Hubert ( )
  rnappi | Jul 2, 2007 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Josef Holubprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Hofmann, MichaelÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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A sixteen-year-old farmhand is tricked into fighting in the Napoleonic Wars by the farmer for whom he works, who secretly substitutes him for the farmer's own son.

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