Book Reviews

The Bully Boys, By Eric Walters

The bully boys imageThe title of the book that I am going to discuss today is called The Bully Boys.  This magnificent text is written by Eric Walters, and the genre of this novel is historical fiction.  Look at the cover on the right.  Who are the Bully Boys?  Where are these people from?   The story is called The Bully Boys, because it is based on a group of Canadian soldiers who call themselves The Bully Boys.  I suppose every soldier must be a bit of a bully.

This story takes place mostly all around Canada, and a small portion of The United States of America.  The time period of which this text takes place is around the War of 1812, when the Americans tried to take over Canada because Canada was an ally of Great Britain.  The main character is a boy, 14 years of age, named Thomas or Tommy (or Tom) for short.  Tom longs to join the army like his father and uncle, yet everyone thinks he’s still too young – no matter how much skill he displays.  Nevertheless, Tom faces the biggest dangers of his life throughout the story, and shows his parents that he’s up for the job.  The moral of this story is to persevere and be strong no matter what adverse circumstances you may encounter.  This is the author’s lesson since Tom had to overcome a lot of his fears and obstacles to get to fight by the famous James FitzGibbons’ side.

Growing up, Tom thought he was going to have a normal life.  Even though he wants to fight along with his family, he ignores his hopes and tries to get on with his daily routines.  However, one day he makes a regular trip to the general store and strangely encounters two American soldiers who threaten the famous Lieutenant FitzGibbon’s life.  Tom fears for his own and FitzGibbon’s lives, but manages to save both.  FitzGibbon now worries about Tom’s life since the American soldiers are searching for the person who injured one of their men (meaning Tom).  Since Tom has American relatives, the Canadians use his knowledge of the American route during these rough times.  Wanting to help with the war, Tom assists the Canadian soldiers as much as possible, and as much as they allow him to, seeing that he is still very young.

I like this story, because I can relate to Tom’s feelings about being too young to do important things.  Our biggest dreams just might be discouraged due to our age.  I like a story that can make me feel as if I am there watching the characters make mistakes and succeed in fixing them.  Because I know what Tom feels like, I especially know his motives for any actions he makes.  For this, I will rate this book a complete 10 out of 10.  I will recommend this book for readers who enjoy learning about historical facts yet be entertained with the author’s lively imagination.  I am one of those readers.  Are you?

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