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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Two boys, best friends, are torn between opposing sides of bloody war in 1862. Johnny is white, and Chaska is part Dakota. The boys have seen whites treat the Dakota with injustice and cruelty. And they have witnessed the Dakota seek revenge with violence and murder. Can Johnny and Chaska still be friends? Can they even survive? The answers are unclear as battle after battle of the Dakota Conflict…

Battle Cry

by Jan Neubert Schultz

Overall Book Review:

Crack open Battle Cry and find yourself transported to the wild Minnesota frontier. Tensions between the whites and Dakotas are high, and sixteen-year-old Johnny suddenly finds himself in the midst of battle where there is never a dull moment. Intense and action-packed, Battle Cry includes plenty of gunfights, Indian battles and dangerous rendezvous. 

Young Johnny is a tough yet likable character and makes for an excellent role model. He has the determination, loyalty and grit necessary to rescue those in need. I especially liked that the book is more than a historical retelling of the 1862 Dakota Conflict but an up-close look at the attitudes and feelings of those white settlers and Dakota tribes involved. Battle Cry brings American history to life while being thoroughly engaging and highly entertaining. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Lerner Publishing Group

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 10 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities

Violence/Gore: A character is cut with a razor across his face; several battles occur where people are shot; numerous explosions cause damage to a fort; Dakota prisoners are assaulted by an angry mob; a man drowns; a deer is killed and skinned; characters come across the aftermath of a massacre and see puddles of blood surrounding bloated and “hacked up” bodies; around forty Dakotas are hung from gallows. 

Sexual/Nudity: none

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, war, robbery/thieving, murder and racial injustice.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

The Dakotas drink to celebrate their war victory.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.