Parents' Guide to

The Red Badge of Courage

By Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Compelling Civil War novel questions morality of battle.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

My son loved it!

My son read a lot and i was hesitant to let them read this book, but it isn't any more graphic than Hunger Games and it also has a lot of Civil War history included. He loved it!

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Crane's evocative, stream-of-conscious descriptions of the emotional turbulence and all-around mayhem of battle is incredibly compelling. Henry is a dynamic main character capable of moments of laudable bravery as well as detestable egotism. The hazy morality of combat is a central theme, with Crane almost mocking the soldiers who continuously pat themselves on the back and assure themselves that they are becoming "men" by confronting the terror of the front lines. In reality, Crane is skewering these foolhardy notions of honor and courage, highlighting just how fickle and contradictory such characteristics can be. While The Red Badge of Courage does provide an illuminating depiction of the experience of a massive 19th-century battle, the true focus is on the internal conflicts people must face when swept up into the desperate and deadly maelstrom of war. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War, military history, or the development of American literature.

Book Details

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