Project Description

The Passage

The Passage

by James Kilgore

Against his family’s wishes, a sixteen year old joins the Confederate Navy and learns that honor can be a smokescreen for arrogance and pride.

It is late spring of 1862 and the Civil War is raging. Eager to serve on behalf of the South, sixteen-year-old Sam Wood of Yazoo City, Mississippi, forges his grandfather’s name and convinces his best friend Albert to join him and enlist in the Confederate Navy. With great excitement and bravado, the two teenagers board the CSS Arkansas.

Sam quickly learns that the sailor’s life is hard—long hours on duty, grueling manual labor, and contentious crewmates. Then Captain Brown receives ominous sealed orders: the Arkansas is to sail down the Yazoo River to the Mississippi, running a dangerous gauntlet of Federal fleets and battling hostile forces to land upriver in Vicksburg. Sam knows it will be a dangerous passage. Still, he is not quite prepared for what lies ahead…or the troubling news that arrives from back home.

In author James Killgore’s stirring, fast-paced novel set in the south during the Civil War, young readers will relive the drama of the conflict and its devastating consequences through the eyes of a courageous teen who learns the true meaning of courage and honor on his journey to manhood.

Hardcover: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-384-9
Total Pages: 256
Size: 5 1/4 x 8
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-56145-716-8
Age Range: 12 – 16
Language: English

Purchase this E-book through the following vendors:

Baker & Taylor
Barnes & Noble
Recorded Books

Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 111521
AR Reading Level: 5
AR Points: 9

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: Z
F&P Grade: 7th and up


“…well-told and firmly in the tradition of a war story in which the protagonist joins a cause and returns broken and embittered, wondering how anyone believed in the glories of battle and patriotic rhetoric.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“…unforgettable… In addition to creating a credible picture of life in that era, Killgore also poses timely questions about war and peace.” ―VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)


Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (honor book, Social Studies Grades 7-12) ―Society of School Librarians International 2007

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Meet the Author

James Killgore holds degrees from Louisiana State University, New York University, and Napier University in Edinburgh. He is the author of The Passage as well as the adult novel Buck Falaya. He lives in Scotland.