Red Legs by Ted Lewin
A Drummer Boy of the Civil War

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Synopsis

The Civil War divided the United States and pitted North against South, brother against brother, and often children against children. On the eve of a fateful battle, Stephen, a drummer boy in the "Red Legs" regiment, thinks of home and the fight ahead. The next morning, he beats ratta-TAT ratta-TAT ratta-TAT TAT TAT The Red Legs and the other Union soldiers fall into rhythm. They meet the Confederate army on thebattlefield. Shots ring out. Cannons boom. The fighting has begun.

Ted Lewin dramatically captures one of many battles waged in the bloodiest war fought on American soil. In this book he pays a moving tribute both to the brave Civil War soldiers and to the dedicated reenactors who preserve their memory.

 

About Ted Lewin

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Ted Lewin grew up in an old frame house in Buffalo, New York, with two brothers, one sister, two parents, a lion, an iguana, a chimpanzee, and an assortment of more conventional pets. The lion was given to his older brother, Don, while he was traveling as a professional wrestler, and he shipped it home. The family kept Sheba in the basement fruit cellar until Don returned and their mother convinced him to give it to the Buffalo zoo. Ted always knew he wanted to be an illustrator. As a child he copied the work of illustrators and painters he admired, including N. C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Velazquez, and Goya. When it came time to go to art school (Pratt), he needed to earn money to finance his education. So, following in his brother's footsteps, he took a summer job as a wrestler -- the beginning of a 15-year part-time career that eventually inspired his autobiographical book I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler. Ted's career as an artist began with illustrations for adventure magazines, and it's only over the last several years that he has devoted his time to writing and illustrating children's books. "I'm having more fun doing this than anything I've ever done before," he says. He is an avid traveler, and many of his books are inspired by trips to such places as the Amazon River, the Sahara Desert, Botswana, Egypt, Lapland, and India. His Market!, published in 1996, showcases markets around the world, from Uganda to Ireland to Ecuador.Touch and Go is a collection of stories about the adventures Ted had while researching his books. Gorilla Walk is his first collaboration with his wife, Betsy, and is about their trek to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda. They've just completed their second collaboration, Elephant Quest, set in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Ted's current project is about a Civil War drummer boy.Ted and Betsy live in Brooklyn, New York, where they share their home with two cats, Slick and Chopper.
 
Published April 24, 2001 by HarperColl. 32 pages
Genres: War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Red Legs

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(The reason is never offered.) Unreal soldiers cannot arouse sympathy in an unreal cause, and young readers will therefore learn nothing—except that it’s fun to play war.

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Publishers Weekly

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Lewin (Market; Peppe the Lamplighter) leads readers to the heart of a military skirmish in this emotional picture-book look at

Jun 18 2001 | Read Full Review of Red Legs: A Drummer Boy of th...

Publishers Weekly

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An afterword explains that Lewin's brief yet stirring text was inspired by the experiences of a Brooklyn boy named Stephen Benjamin Barrow, who fought in the war from 1862 to 1865 and once lived very near Lewin's current home.

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