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A Savage Thunder

Antietam and the Bloody Road to Freedom



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About The Book

In September 1862, two great armies faced off across Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, knowing that the fate of the United States and the future of millions of slaves were at stake. From behind-the-scenes conversations to the action on the front lines, renowned nonfiction writer Jim Murphy provides an in-depth look at the battle that prompted Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and changed America forever. Murphy uses photographs, maps, and first-person accounts to sweep young readers into the chaos and confusion of battle. Gritty and utterly engaging, this is a powerful portrayal of a day on which 22,717 people were killed or wounded—the single bloodiest day in American history.

About The Author

Jim Murphy has written two Newbery Honor books: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (which was also a National Book Award finalist) and The Great Fire. He lives in New Jersey. Visit his Web site at

Product Details

Raves and Reviews

"A stirring, well-researched addition to Civil War shelves." -- Booklist, starred review

"Replete with excellent-quality archival photos, reproductions, and maps, this is an outstanding account of a battle that was truly a savage thunder. " -- School Library Journal, starred review

"...what makes this impassioned volume speak -- literally -- are the many primary-source quotations of those involved, from the least to the most." -- Kirkus, starred review

Awards and Honors

  • CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • Kirkus Best Young Adult Book

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More books from this author: Jim Murphy