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New Civil War fiction for young readers tells the story of revenge and forgiveness


I met author Joel Moore (who writes under the name of J. Arthur Moore) at a recent mutual book signing at Irvin’s Books in York, PA. He graciously gave me a copy of his latest historical fiction book, Blake’s Story, Revenge and Forgiveness, which he co-wrote with Bryson B. Brodzinski.

Published in May 2014 by Xlibris, this new book tells the story of a Southern boy who learns of his father’s death at the bloody battle of Shiloh in the spring of 1862. In anguish, Blake Bradford wrestles with his shifting emotions and finally decides that he must take revenge on the Yankee who shot his father. He hopes to find him on a battlefield and kill him. Blake signs up for the 2nd Tennessee Volunteer Infantry and soon finds himself in the midst of the Kentucky Campaign serving under famed Brigadier General Patrick Cleburne (known as the “Stonewall of the West” for his martial and leadership abilities).

Wounded and taken prisoner at Perryville, Blake eventually befriends a young Union soldier, setting the stage for the main plotline of the book. Incidentally, the story’s genesis came from an idea from Moore’s 11-year-old great-grandson!

The new book will appeal to young teenagers who are interested in learning a little more about the Civil War as seen through the eyes of one of their peers. Blake’s experiences are based upon extensive historical research and are rooted in the actual movements and actions of the regiments involved in the storyline. The book flows well and should be easy to read and comprehend for its intended teenage audience. Rated at four or five stars by various on-line reviewers, it would make a fine gift for the younger Civil War reader.

Blake’s Story, Revenge and Forgiveness can be obtained from the publisher, Xlibris, via their website (ISBN 978-1-49319-778-1). It is also for sale through and Barnes & Noble’s on-line catalog.