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Customer Reviews for Worthy Publishing Gideon's Call

Worthy Publishing Gideon's Call

Based on true events from the Civil War! Tad longs to better himself, but is hindered by his skin color. When his plantation owners evacuate, they leave their slaves without any money, education, or leadership. Can Tad overcome unimaginable prejudice and family secrets to become the deliverer of thousands of recently freed workers? 368 pages, softcover from Worthy.
Average Customer Rating:
4.583 out of 5
4.6
 out of 
5
(12 Reviews) 12
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Rating Snapshot (12 reviews)
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12 out of 12100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Gideon's Call
Review 1 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An entertaining read for pretty much anyone

Date:June 12, 2013
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Jill Williamson
Location:Oregon
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Tad is a young slave boy who has just discovered just how different life is for him because of the color of his skin. Shortly after his first whipping, soldiers from the North descend on Fort Beauregard and destroy it. The southern plantation owners flee, leaving their slaves behind. Tad sets to work planting his field. He’s going to need a corn harvest if they’re all going to eat come winter. But when some men and women from the north show up to start a school, Tad starts to think he’d like to be a soldier and fight too.
This is a story that’s based on true events. It also won the Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel Contest. Well deserved, I’d say. The story sucked me in from the start, as Tad got into mischief following his friend into trouble. I couldn’t put it down. I found it fascinating and very engaging. I thought this was a unique take on Civil War events. I’m a big fan of the movie Glory, and some of the real people from that movie also appear in this book. This is an entertaining read for pretty much anyone. Whether you like history or are learning about it at school, this is a great book. I highly enjoyed it.
0points
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Review 2 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

good book

Date:April 23, 2013
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tigers fan
Location:hudsonville, michigan
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I have read many, many books about the Civil War, both fiction and non-fiction but none from this perspective. This book appears to be well researched and I enjoyed reading it.
0points
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Review 3 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent First Novel

Date:January 25, 2013
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Katy
Location:Tennessee
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Gideon’s Call is an exciting story of a young man, who will capture your heart and admiration. Tad’s story is a testament of faith and indomitable spirit of one young slave boy growing into manhood during explosive change in the mid-1800’s. Tad's faith in himself and his ability is only overshadowed by his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Gideon's Call is also the story of those who worked to help the newly freed slaves make a life for themselves--often at great personal sacrifice. The good that these people accomplished is contrasted with the heart-wrenching prejudice and cruelty of those without conscience.
The war scenes were vividly portrayed. I felt as if I were right there in the midst of the battles--though it was a bit difficult to keep up with all the major players.
I recommend this book to everyone, who is interested in the plight of the freedmen at the close of the Civil War. Gideon's Call is an excellent and interesting novel.
+2points
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Review 4 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A sweeping story

Date:December 29, 2012
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Sarah Sundin
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Sweeping story of an intriguing sidebar of Civil War history. Leavell's impeccable research and excellent writing highlights some of history's quieter heroes.
+1point
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Review 5 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Powerful history brought to life

Date:November 18, 2012
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Jocelyn Green, author of Faith Deployed
Location:Cedar Falls, IA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Thank you, Peter Leavell, for taking up the task of telling one of the most intriguing aspects of the Civil War: the Port Royal Experiment. Gideon's Call struck that fine balance between drawing us into the personal drama of individuals, and painting for us the larger picture of what was at stake during this time period: freedom and bondage, life and death, love and duty. Having studied this piece of history myself (but clearly only a fraction of Leavell's investment into it!), I was delighted to see so many historical figures in the novel, not just making cameo appearances, but as robust characters. The author adeptly carried the reader from Boston to Washington to South Carolina, presenting the drama from varied perspectives. Some books entertain. Some books teach. Gideon's Call does both.
~Jocelyn Green, author of Wedded to War
+2points
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Review 6 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Civil War Enthusiast Must-Read

Date:November 16, 2012
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NPerr
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Having come from a home rich with love for our American heritage and having spent many loving moments with a parent who adored Civil War *anything*- I consider this novel to be an accurate picture of the time as well as being an entertaining read. The characters are all fleshed-out beautifully, making them easy to love, forgive, and even despise. In my opinion, this book could have comfortably been a companion to the 1989 historical blockbuster film "Glory". Excellent, vivid descriptions of the South combined with all the above assets make this a keeper in our home, to be enjoyed by the whole family.
+1point
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Review 7 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

EXCELLENT

Date:November 9, 2012
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Pastor Greg
Location:Illinois
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I don’t read Christian fiction – don’t have the time because I’m reading other things most times. Sometimes two books going at one time – “pastor type” books. I’m sure that you know the kind.
However, a young friend wrote a book called “Gideon’s Call”. I was curious, so I bought a copy. What a wonderful investment in literature and in time. I appreciated the historical content. The characters were alluring and drew me deeply into the plot. As I was drawn into the plot, I became a bystander of that era and found myself wanting to get involved in the action. I especially appreciated the historcal "afterward". Peter Leavell – your award for this book is well deserved. I can’t wait for your next project! “Gideon’s Call” is highly recommended.
+2points
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Review 8 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Loved the pyschological aspects!

Date:October 29, 2012
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Terrie
Location:Manitoba, Canada
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
From the first paragraph, the story of Tad, a young slave boy, pulled me in. As his story unfolded, I was struck by the psychological aspects of a child who has never known freedom when freedom is suddenly granted: the claustrophobia of a classroom to someone who has only been confined to small spaces as punishment; the burden of knowing how to read but the necessity to keep it a secret or risk death. Peter Leavell has done a wonderful job of making those aspects real. It wasn’t until I read the details at the end of the book that I realized many of the characters in Gideon’s Call were actual historical figures, and I learned more about history through this fictional novel than I have through textbooks.
+2points
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Review 9 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Civil War historical fiction worth reading...

Date:October 29, 2012
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backpacker1
Location:Eagle, ID
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Gideon's Call is a historically accurate account starting early in the Civil War and works through the assassination of President Lincoln. His death changed the course of America in many ways. Through the characters in the story, history is told in an entertaining way. From the first chapter, the story pulls the reader into the lives of the freedmen during the Civil War. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War or the societal issues of the assimilation of the freedmen in the US.
+3points
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Review 10 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Why can't history be taught this way in schools?

Date:October 29, 2012
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Michael Ehret
Location:Colorado Springs, CP
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I've never read historical fiction. Until this year.
Finally, after much resistance, I gave in to a friend's demand and read Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth (1989). Follett put skin and bones on history in such a visceral, in-your-face way, that I was transported.
In much the same way, but without Follett's verbosity, Peter Leavell transported me to Civil War-era South Carolina and a small, but important, piece of history connected to the state's tropical sea islands, in his debut novel, Gideon's Call, winner of the 2011 Operation First Novel contest of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.
In Gideon's Call, when soldiers from the North force the landowners to evacuate South Carolina's islands, 10,000 slaves are set free in a single day. Leavell interweaves the fictional story of Tad, a young clever slave, into the real lives and history of people like Edward Lillie Pierce, who headed up The Port Royal Experiment for the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, Laura Matilda Towne, who came to South Carolina to educate the slaves and stayed to establish The Penn School and many other heroes of the time.
Leavell takes a multiple track approach to telling the story, showing us the realities through the eyes of the slaves, from the point of view of staunch abolitionists like Pierce and Towne, and through the experiences of those far removed in the North who believed slavery was wrong, but wondered if the slaves could learn, let alone be accepted as free people in that day's society.
And what would happen to them after the end of the war and the landowners returned to claim their land? Would slavery simply re-establish itself as the rule of the day? The newly freed slaves had no money, no education, no leadership, and little hope. The North could free them from slavery, but who would make them truly free and lead them into a productive future?
We all know the end of this book's larger story, but the brilliance of Leavell's work is found in the plausible fictional characters he creates--Tad, Peg, Collin, Samuel, Mammy, and others--who reveal the emotional history of the struggle. All are so finely drawn, that they become every bit as real as the others.
Whether or not you like historical fiction, the world Leavell reveals as he weaves his story, will hold your attention intellectually and emotionally.
Worthy Publishers provided me with an Advance Reader's Copy of Gideon's Call.
Michael Ehret, editor of the ACFW Journal magazine
+1point
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Review 11 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Civil War comes to Life

Date:October 18, 2012
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Serious Reader
Location:Colorado
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
It is amazing this book is a first time novel. It is written very well and blends the historical events with fictional characters. The young man Tad suffers injustice and faces new difficulties as our nation becomes divided. The book not only holds your attention, it also draws on your emotions. The manner in which the book is written makes you feel as if you are actually there observing the events. This is an excellant book.
+1point
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Review 12 for Gideon's Call
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Don't Miss this Award Winning Debut Novel

Date:October 2, 2012
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Henry McLaughlin
Location:Saginaw, TX
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Gideon’s Call, the award winning debut novel by Peter Leavell, takes us to the South Carolina coastal islands during the Civil War. There we meet Tad, a young slave whose adventures will lead us through overcoming the scars of slavery, through learning that all white Northerners can’t be trusted, through learning how to survive as a freedman, through being a soldier and fighting with the 54th Massachusetts at Fort Wagner.
Leavell’s thoroughly researched novel is accurate without being a lecture. He successfully avoids the trap of including all his research, just using that which is relevant to his story. He introduces real historical people as three dimensional characters, not just stick figures to show how well he researched the story. There are times when the story has a Forrest Gump feel as Tad interacts with political and military figures in South Carolina, Washington and Boston. He serves as a runner for Major Robert Gould. He meets President Andrew Johnson. To Leavell’s credit, these encounters flow naturally with the story without the sense of being contrived or manipulated.
Tales of lost or unrequited love among the historical figures as they live out their dedication to their beliefs give the book a real sense of the difficulties and hard decisions faced by many people during the war. Through figures such Edward Pierce and Laura Towne, we get a real sense of the sacrifices made for the Union and for freedom.
Leavell presents a balanced picture of North and South, not afraid to show the racism, manipulation and cheating on both sides to use the blacks for their own ends. Tad fights against both sides as he strives to achieve his goals. He succeeds in business by becoming a trader.
Tad’s dream is to be a soldier, own his own land, and marry Peg. Peg won’t marry him if he becomes a soldier. He joins because he wants to do all he can to secure freedom for himself and his people.
One of things I most appreciate about the story is that Tad is frightened in battle. Our hero is flawed. And he must overcome this as part of his inner journey.
Leavell does an excellent job of fully developing his characters, showing their dreams, ambitions, selfishness, fear, biases and prejudices as they face the reality of the Civil War and what it does to the country and the people, both black and white.
I recommend this novel to anyone seeking historically accurate fiction set in the Civil War. The author takes the dry statistics and facts of history and weaves an enthralling story filled with characters we can cheer with and feel pain with as we deepen our understanding of what happened in those years.
I give the novel four stars.
An advanced reader’s copy of the novel was provided by the publisher.
+3points
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