Red Cap

May 28, 2012

Historical Fiction
By G. Clifton Wisler
Reviewed by Andy Tavelli
Rated 5out of 5 stars

Ransom J. Powell is a 13 year-old boy when he was encountered by the toughest decision of his life. All of his friends and family, who were eligible, had joined either the Northern or the Southern side of the Civil War, and now it was his turn. Contrary to his parent’s ideas, Ransom decided he would join up. He still faced two major problems; which side would he join, and how. After all, he was only 13 and the youngest age that either side would accept is 15, but he would deal with that later. Ransom faced much discrimination from his friends and family. His parents told him they wouldn’t allow to join but Ransom already knew he was going to. Ransom’s friend Patrick Perkins tried to convince Ransom to join the South and when Patrick discovered that his friend was going to join the North, their friendship was tested.

Late one Maryland night Ransom snuck out of his house and headed to Piedmont. A town 20 miles away containing a Union recruiting center. He joined up as a Union drummer and shipped off to war soon after. He met a young boy named Danny who taught him how to beat a drum and became his best friend. But before long tragedy strikes and part of Ransom’s unit is captured and know he is struggling to survive as a prison of war while his friends are dying beside him due to starvation and a multitude of diseases that exist in the camp.

Red Cap by G. Clifton Wisler is a short novel about friendship and individualism. It’s a relatively short novel with a powerful message at heart. The author uses a lot of imagery to depict the harsh conditions of Ransom’s captivity. The author organizes their ideas in a manner that makes this novel an entertaining and quick read for all reading levels. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick book that has a strong message or a history buff looking to strengthen their knowledge.

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