My brother read this book. He loved Gary Paulsen (although he HATED to read). Most Paulsen books are late-elementary to middle school reading level, but if you have a child who doesn't like to read (and likes adventures), Paulsen might just be the author to get your child excited about reading--even at early High School level.
I had to read this book because another teacher and I decided to read it to the kids during the state testing fiasco last school year (we only saw 2 of our 5 classes all week, ACK). So I read the book first to make sure I knew it would be appropriate. Even though it was written for the middle school age group, it was very mature and compelling. I enjoyed reading it again and again to my classes. It was about a young man's experiences as a soldier during the Civil War and the horrors that he saw. It was fictional but based on a real person according to the author's notes.
Sheryl B. reviewed Soldier's Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers on + 28 more book reviews
"...Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers" - A Novel of the Civil War. Author's notes: "This is partly a work of fiction. Charley Goodard really existed. He enlisted in the First Minnesota Volunteers when he was fifteen, lying about his age, and fought through virtually the entire war. ... But in all respects everything in this book happened, either to Charley or to men around him." RL 5-6