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Buffalo Soldier


Winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2015.

“What kind of a girl steals the clothes from a dead man’s back and runs off to join the army? A desperate one. That’s who.”

At the end of the American Civil War, Charley ? a young African-American slave from the deep south ? is ostensibly freed. But then her adopted mother is lynched at the hands of a mob and Charley is left alone. In a terrifyingly lawless land, where the colour of a person’s skin can bring violent death, Charley disguises herself as a man and joins the army. Soon she’s being sent to the prairies to fight a whole new war against the “savage Indians”. Trapped in a world of injustice and inequality, it’s only when Charley is posted to Apache territory that she begins to learn what it is to be truly free.

Best for 12 years+


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