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An Innocent Soldier

Written by Josef Holub

Translated by Michael Hofmann

Winner of the 2006 Mildred L. Batchelder Award. A naive country boy grapples with life in the army during Napoleon's disastrous campaign against Russia.

Adam is a farmhand conscripted by Napoleon's army, which is gathering strength for its campaign against Russia. Sergeant Krauter makes Adam the victim of his most sadistic urges. But when an aristocratic young lieutenant spots Adam and requisitions him as his personal valet, Adam's life seems to take a turn for the better.

As Adam and Lieutenant Konrad Klara draw closer to Moscow, they encounter a panoply of wartime horrors. An Innocent Soldier - both poignant and funny - explores the importance of friendship in persevering against overwhelming odds.

Reviews and Awards

ALA Best Book for Young Adults
2006 Mildred L. Batchelder Award Winner
Horn Book Magazine Fanfare Book
USBBY Outstanding International Book

⋆ "Holub's clear-eyed and often surprisingly humorous first-person narrative brings the history vividly and authentically to life; it is exceptionally well-served by Hofmann's excellent translation." - Horn Book Magazine, starred review

"The simple, understated and sometimes eloquent first-person narrative rings true to one boy's experience of war, adventure, and survival." - Kirkus Reviews

"A well-wrought psychological tale." - School Library Journal

"The book's greatest strength is the description of a friendship formed by two motherless boys from different classes who find common cause in the middle of an unwinnable war." - Booklist

"Highly recommended, it can easily take its place next to Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun and All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque." - Voice of Youth Advocates

"An engrossing novel." - New York Times

Purchase Options
Indiebound  Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Fall 2005
Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 0-439-62771-0
Price: $16.99/$21.99
Trim Size: 5  1/2" x 8  1/4"
Page Count: 240
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Verlag Friedrich Oetinger
Rights Available? yes