"Soldier's Heart" by Gary Paulsen centers around Charley Goddard, a teenage farm boy who becomes a soldier for the Union Army during the Civil War in the 1860s. It's based on the true story of a young man who lied about his age in order to enlist in a volunteer infantry in Minnesota. After fighting in the battles at Bull Run and Gettysburg, Charley Goddard suffers from DaCosta's syndrome, also known as "soldier's heart."
Throughout the novel, Paulsen describes Charley's experiences, beginning with his days on the farm. Charley is only 15 when he enlists in the infantry. By the end of the book, he is in his twenties. Secondary characters in "Soldier's Heart" include Charley's younger brother, Orren, and other soldiers such as Nelson, McClellan and Massey.Learn more about Fiction