Title: Rat HellRat-Hell
Author: Peter Burchard
Pages: 62
Reading Level: 9-14
Star Rating: ★★★

An irregular story from the War Between the States.

The Story.

For five months, Jim Cutter has been rotting in the confinement of Libby Prison. But he has not accepted his condition – on the contrary, he and nineteen other men have been digging a tunnel from behind the kitchen stove out into the storage shed. Only one night’s work remains, then it will be ready for use. Tonight could even be the night…

Will Jim and his friends escape from Libby Prison? And if so, will they survive the search that is sure to follow?


I knew going into Rat Hell that it was a short book – only sixty-two pages – but I still expected the story to be more complete. Instead, we’re plumped down right before the escape happens, and whisked away immediately after. It had the potential to be a truly exceptional story, but because of its brevity, I was unable to feel truly immersed in the plot. Still, it’s not a bad book.

Jim overhears two sentries talking about their girls. Nothing inappropriate is said.

Lies are told to save a person’s life.

‘Good Lord’ is used once in a serious situation.

Conclusion. A good story, but not one I would advise you to rush out and buy. If you come across it, well and good, if you don’t, the lack of it won’t ruin your life.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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