Reviews

"This book does have a place in schools, I think it would be the perfect adjunct to a Civil War class. It also has a place in everyone's home library."

Simon Barrett, Blog News Network Book Review.

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"I found the series to be very interesting. I enjoyed the excitement and suspense and couldn't put it down. I just finished studying about the Civil War and found these books to be an excellent supplement to my studies. They were very historically accurate even down to the smallest details. These books showed the harsh reality of the Civil War. They also showed the great sacrifices made by our countrymen so that we may enjoy the freedom we have today. I would really recommend this story to kids my age and to anyone who likes adventure and is interested in learning more about the Civil War."

Isaac Sassa, age 14

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Journey Into Darkness is.a mind blowing adventurous story of war, friendship, youth, soldiers, and death in the time of the American Civil War. One boy's experiences during the time of war from age 10 through 13 are told with the turn of each page. Experiencing sadness, grief, heartbreak, friendship, loneliness, value, worth, and pride, a boy journeys through one of the toughest times America has had to endure, in search of his father who had gone to war. He finds himself on both sides at times, Confederate and Union, not taking either side, just trying not to perish with so many others.

Rated 5 stars by Readers' Favorite,
Michelle Robertson, reviewer

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"I think you've done a magnificent work. Now that I see the books all together, I appreciate it even more. I'm enormously impressed. It's a moving, large scale and splendid story, and those remarkable photos really add a special dimension."

Lloyd Alexander, author

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Dear Mr. Moore,

Journey Into Darkness is beautifully written and extremely moving. I rate this alongside Trinity and A Tale of Two Cities. Thank you for the sheer enjoyment of your story.

Best wishes always, Katherine C. Lewis, reader

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"I highly recommend this series of four historical novels...I believe that books such as these are an important way of preserving our national heritage and bringing it to life for the students in our schools. They can relate to the experiences and perspective of Duane Kinkade as he lives through the central event in our national history, the American Civil War."

Paul Sanborn, historian, Freedoms Foundation, nominated for the Freedoms Foundation Award

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Blake's Story, Revenge and Forgiveness

By J. Arthur Moore
Reviewed By Lorena Sanqui for Readers' Favorite


When the Civil War broke, Blake Bradford's dad volunteered to go to war, but he was killed by a young Union soldier. Blake, grieving, decided to avenge his father by going to war himself and killing that Union soldier. Lying about his age, he joined the army to be their drummer and started his quest to find the youth who took his father away from him. What Blake didn't expect was the humanity and kindness of the soldiers who were in the war. When Blake finds this soldier, will he still be able to kill him in Blake's Story, Revenge and Forgiveness by J. Arthur Moore.

Blake's Story is a wonderful tale of compassion and sympathy in a time when kindness is a costly commodity because they are at war. The scene where Blake and his dad's killer figured out each other's identity was the best scene in the whole book. The characters, especially Blake and the soldiers he made friends with in the Union army, are nice and likable people. They were portrayed and described well and were convincing. From the beginning, I wondered how Blake was going to find the young soldier who killed his father and what he was going to do once he found out. The conclusion of the story was not what I expected, but it was even better and I liked it very much. Viewing the war from a child's perspective, a member of the army no less, gave me a new understanding of what really went on during the Civil War.

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/33889


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Journey Into Darkness
by J. Arthur Moore
reviewed by Charmaine Ball

Writing accurate as well as interesting historic fiction can, and should be, quite a challenge for an author; unless the author is J. Arthur Moore, a veteran educator and social studies teacher. 

Mr. Moore, the author of Journey Into Darkness a Civil War drama, writes with so much confidence and heart that one could almost believe that he had lived through the Civil War himself.

Written especially for students, Journey Into Darkness is a novel divided into four separate volumes.  As each book unfolds, you the reader travel alongside the story’s main character as he courageously searches to find his father, a soldier in the Confederate Army.

Aside from being a meticulous chronicle of the war itself. what makes this story so unforgettable is the hold that it takes on your heart the moment that you identify with the main character, ten-year-old Duane Kinkade.  This happens very early on in book one as you watch Duane, or Dee as his friends call him, become literally caught up in the turbulent and horrific events of the war.

Journey Into Darkness depicts the events of the Civil War with clarity and  eye-opening truth.  The reader, along with Duane, becomes witness to events before, during, and after the bloody battles because one becomes a participant in those battles.  The reader learns, as Duane did, how to care for the wounded soldiers.  The crude medical practices of the 1860’s magnify the suffering of the soldiers and the horrors of war, but also serve as a learning experience.
           
Beautifully interwoven among all of the unimaginable hardships and injuries that Duane endures during his search to find his father is a golden thread of hope that his arduous journey will not be in vain.  Throughout Duane’s quest the reader sees obstacles overcome, friendships forged, loyalties challenged, and  life lessons learned, while at the  same time  a vivid history lesson is unfolding before one’s eyes.  Not only is this story a startlingly detailed time line of major and  minor events lived during the Civil War, but also a diary of a boy’s commitment to find his father and who, in the process finds himself.
          
Ultimately, Duane learns one of the most important life lessons of all: the need for people in our lives; the treasures that are family, friendship, and love.

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Blue Ink Review

Up from Corinth
J. Arthur Moore
Xlibris, 160 pages,
(Reviewed: February, 2012)

Eleven-year-old Duane Kinkade encounters kindness and cruelty wearing both blue and gray uniforms in this second volume of a projected fictional tetralogy about the Civil War by retired schoolteacher Arthur Moore.

Searching for his father in the Confederate Army after his mother was killed by raiders, Duane is wounded during the battle of Shiloh. He's rescued by Union doctor Dan Marshalton and his assistant Johnny Applebee, a boy not much older than Duane. They take him to the Union encampment, and while Duane is healing, the three become fast friends. Dan wangles improbable permission for Duane to join a Union scouting party as a courier (would they trust a boy whose father is a Confederate soldier to carry important messages to the Union command?), and the boy spends the rest of the book wandering in and out of various battlegrounds and field hospitals, gaining expertise in dressing wounds and viewing firsthand the horrors of war.

The suffering on both sides is the focus of this tender-hearted tale. When a Confederate soldier Duane is bandaging in the aftermath of a battle is fatally shot by a Union corporal who snarls, “The only good Reb is a dead one,” Duane explodes: “It's people wantin ta be killin like ya done here as makes this war! If'n not…my ma'd be alive taday „n m'pa'n me'd be ta home takin in the crop.” (Although Moore again strains credibility when General Sheridan arrives on the field, busts the Union sharpshooter to private, and promises to reunite Duane with his Confederate dad.)

Despite the lapses in credulity and occasional clunky Southern dialect, Moore engages our interest in a smoothly written narrative, and Duane is an appealing protagonist who stands up for human decency in several dangerous situations. As he heads off alone in the wake of the battle of Murfreesboro, readers will hope that Duane finds his father and better fortune in the next installment of his adventures.

Blue Ink Heads-Up: This would be an excellent resource for middle-school American history classes, giving a boy's-eye view of the Civil War and reminding students that kids their own age were caught up in active duty during the war.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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New Book Follows a Boy’s Perilous Search
for His Father during the  Civil War
J. Arthur Moore’s historical fiction tells a gripping tale of a young boy’s journey
in the midst of battle

            Written especially for students, enjoyed by adults as well, Up From Corinth takes the student reader into the events of the Civil War through the experiences of a peer.  Duane Kinkade is eleven years old as he goes into battle as a Confederate drummer boy in search of his father, a Confederate soldier.  His father’s last letter spoke of action in western Tennessee, so it is that Duane enters the war in April of 1862 at a place called Pittsburg Landing near a church called Shiloh. Up From Corinth is the story of that battle, where he falls wounded and ends up in the care of a Union doctor and his teenage ward, and the months that follow through the summer and fall of 1862, as the Army of the Ohio moves eastward.  Skirmishes with elements of cavalry, illness, and the hardships of life in an army on the move culminate in full battle at Perryville. Finally, in the winter of 1862-1863, in the aftermath of a bitterly cold and bloody battle at Stones River, Duane is able to begin his trek back to the Confederate Army.

            Up From Corinth has been given to the following libraries in the tri-county area: Morgantown, Ephrata, Lititz, Family Center at Gap, Honey Brook, New Holland, Exton, Coatesville, and Downingtown.  It has also been given to social studies teachers/librarians at Downingtown Middle School, Coatesville High School, and Pequea Valley Intermediate School.  Up From Corinth can be purchased at the Chester County Historical Society Museum book store, The West Chester University book store, and local independent book stores -- Aaron’s Books and Legacy Book Store, as well as Brandywine Flags in Downingtown and Treasure Hill Antiques in Morgantown.

            Moore participated in the Pennsylvania 150th Civil War Anniversary Road Show at Ephrata Public Library, did book signings at Treasure Hill, presented at the Aston Historical Society about Boys of the Civil War, and will be guest teaching a lesson on Boys of the Civil War planned jointly with his granddaughter’s 8th grade social studies teacher at Pequea Valley Intermediate School.

Up From Corinth will be featured at the following book exhibits: the National Book Exhibit in Philadelphia, Pa. on March 13-17, 2012; the 2012 Pennsylvania School Library Association Book Exhibit in Hershey, Pa. on April 12-14, 2012; the 2012 BookExpo America in New York City on June 5-8, 2012; and the 2012 Pennsylvania Library Association Book Exhibit in Gettysburg, Pa. on September 30 – October 3, 2012.  On Friday, April 13th, it will be part of a book signing at Aaron’s Book Store in Lititz, Pa.

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From author J. Arthur Moore comes a researched blend of fact and fiction, enjoyed by readers young and old.

“I highly recommend this . . . an important way of preserving our national heritage and bringing it to life . . . researched so that it reflects accurately on the historic period it represents.” Paul Sanborn, historian, Freedoms Foundation

“Beautifully written and extremely moving.  I rate this alongside Trinity and A Tale of Two Cities.  Thank you for the sheer enjoyment of your story.”    Katherine C. Lewis, reader

“I think you’ve done a magnificent work . . . I’m enormously impressed.  It’s a moving, large scale and splendid story.”    Lloyd Alexander, author

“Your knowledge of the various battles, of army procedures and personnel and gear, of medical and surgical procedures--and so on--and your ability to weave all the details together to create mental images --is quite astounding.  Wow.”     Margaret Moore,  reader

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Book Review: Up From Corinth by J. Arthur Moore
Posted on April 8th, 2012
by Simon Barrett in All News, Book Reviews, Reviews
Read 655 times.

Historical Fiction is a genre of writing that is historically difficult to pull off. Weaving fiction with fact takes great precision, it is a challenge not for the feint at heart. The facts are cast in stone, they cannot be changed. As if this were not difficult enough, author J. Arthur Moore decided to make his life even harder!

Let me explain. The author is a retired educator with over four decades of experience. The focus today in education is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), while this is laudable it means that many other areas are languishing, certainly one of those areas is History. This saddens me, as much about the present and even the future can be gleaned from understanding the past. In a very bold step J. Arthur Moore is trying to level the playing field. Write a book about America’s most contentious period, the Civil War, and do it in such a fashion that will appeal to middle and high school readers.

The approach taken by the author is an interesting one, the story is told through the eyes of a young drummer boy. Duane (Dee) Kinkade may only be 11 years old, but he is on a mission of the utmost importance, he is in search of his father . Dee has little to go on, other than a letter that explains he is with the Confederates in Tennessee. Dee signs on in Pittsburg landing and sees his first action at the Battle of Shiloh.
Wounded, he finds himself in the care of the Union army. Not as a prisoner, but as an 11 year old victim of war.


Up From Corinth explores the events from the Battle of Shiloh through the period following the Battle of Stones River.

It would be a gross injustice to the author and potential readers to discuss the plot very much more. Instead I will make some observations. Prior to reading Up From Corinth I had the opportunity to talk at some length with J. Arthur Moore, what impressed me most was his passion. I asked him what his goal for the book was, his reply surprised me “I want to see it in schools, I want to see it used in History classes.” At the time I thought the author was maybe not firing on all eight cylinders. Who has ever heard of a fiction book being used in a History class?

However, I was wrong, and I apologize for thinking what I did. Up From Corinth has much to offer the inquiring mind. The Civil War is one of the (alas too few) periods of history taught in our schools today. Most text books are dry and boring on the subject. It is not about dates, places, and number of casualties, it is a complex story of beliefs, ambitions and direction for a country that needed unity.

J. Arthur Moore takes the reader behind the scenes, yes his main characters are fictional, but he uses them to factual ends. This book does have a place in schools, I think it would be the perfect adjunct to a Civil War class. It would also not be out of place in a Social Studies environment. It also has a place in everyone’s home library. It is so well constructed, it is a waste to limit the target to schools. Likewise the age group. Up From Corinth is not just for the YA (Young Adult) crowd, I passed that mark over 40 years ago! 

I found that as I was reading my thirst for knowledge gene was activated. My wife thinks I am pretty strange at the best of times, this morning she found me tearing apart a closet “What are you doing”? “Civil War research” was my reply. She went and hid behind her computer! Actually I told the truth, I was searching for some Civil War material to check out the factual aspects mentioned in Up From Corinth. Yup, everything that J. Arthur Moore uses as fact is indeed fact!

You can order your copy of Up From Corinth from Amazon by using the link at the top of the page, or from better book stores everywhere. There is also a supporting Web Site that is worth a visit.

Simon Barrett

 

Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers' Favorite

Journey Into Darkness is written by J. Arthur Moore. The book is a novel divided into four books, a device insisted upon by a young friend of the author because young readers do not like thick books, this particular book being 556 pages. This novel was created as an American Civil War: historical fiction story. The layout, design, and photographs are perfectly designed and placed in appropriate places to capture the words the story tells and visions the readers might have.

A mind blowing adventurous story of war, friendship, youth, soldiers, and death in the time of the American Civil war. One boy's experiences during the time of war from age 10 through 13 are told with the turn of each page. Experiencing sadness, grief, heartbreak, friendship, loneliness, value, worth, and pride, a boy journeys through one of the toughest times America has had to endure, in search of his father who had gone to war. He finds himself on both sides at times, Confederate and Union, not taking either side, just trying not to perish with so many others.

Journey Into Darkness is an incredible story of true events written in a way to allow for further understanding of the events that happened during this time period. Adding a few fictional characters but blending them with actual names and places recognized today as great historical people and landmarks, the book is truly worth the read. It is a long read, but worth every word. I enjoyed this story immensely. Civil war stories are not often told through the eyes of a young soldier, and there were many during that time. Having made the center focus of the book a youth during the war makes the story hit the minds and hearts of children in a more personal way, and in my opinion allows young readers to relate to the characters and understand the plot a little more easily.

Journey into Darkness by J. Arthur Moore is truly a magical, educational, and adventurous story all readers interested in the Civil war should read and enjoy.