Charley Skedaddle

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Charley Skedaddle is an award-winning children's fiction book by Patricia Beatty. The book was first released in 1987 through Troll Associates, later winning the 1988 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.[1] Charley Skedaddle is based on true American Civil War records.[2]

Charley Skedaddle
AuthorPatricia Beatty
CountryUnited States
SubjectCivil War
GenreChildren's fiction
PublisherTroll Associates
Publication date
Media typePrint
Pages186 pages


The book follows Charley, a twelve-year-old boy that runs errands for the leader of the Bowery Boys. Then he decides to leave home after joining the Bowery Boys gang and causing trouble. All Charley wants is to be like his older brother Johnny, who was killed during the Battle of Gettysburg, so he leaves behind his gang life to join the 140th Regiment. He's initially eager to fight, but flees shortly after shooting a Rebel soldier. Ashamed, Charley keeps running and is captured by an enemy soldier but later flees again after gaining a chance to escape. He keeps running until he reaches the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he lives with Granny Bent, an elderly mountain woman that calls herself a "doctor-woman". Charley learns much from her and gains a new sense of maturity and self-respect. He is inevitably forced to flee again but with the knowledge that what he has gained from his time in the mountains will go with him.[3]


Reception for Charley Skedaddle was positive,[4][5] with the book receiving the 1988 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

The book is utilized in many classrooms,[6] with teachers using it to help inform about the American Civil War.[7]


  1. ^ "Civil War book wins fiction award". The Tuscaloosa News. Apr 1, 1988. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Top Children's Book". Lawrence Journal-World. May 1, 1988. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  3. ^ Jones, Angela L. (2004). A Guide for Using Charley Skedaddle in the Classroom. Teacher Created Resources, Inc. p. 6. ISBN 1557345651.
  4. ^ Herrin, Roberta (2009). Appalachian Children's Literature: An Annotated Bibliography. McFarland. p. 27. ISBN 078641040X.
  5. ^ "Review: Charlie Skedaddle". School Library Journal (Book Verdict). Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  6. ^ Bannister, Sharon (1995). Teaching American History Through the Novel. Walch Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 978-0825127465.
  7. ^ Carratello, Patty (2004). Civil War: A Thematic Unit. Teacher Created Resources, Inc. pp. 5–18. ISBN 1557342903.