by Ann E. Burg
Novel in Verse/Historical Fiction
What It's All About:
The day nine-year-old Grace is called to work in the kitchen in the Big House, everyone warns her to to keep her head down and her thoughts to herself, but the more she sees of the oppressive Master and his hateful wife, the more she questions things until one day her thoughts escape--and to avoid being separated she and her family flee into the Dismal Swamp, to join the other escaped slaves who live there.
Why You'll Love It:
- I've discovered that there's a big niche for novels in verse at my school. Kids love the format and the quick pace of the writing.
- The cadences offer excellent choral reading possibilities and a glimpse into the little-known existence of covert slave communities in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina during slavery years.
- Providing strong suspense and vivid imagery, the survival tale conveys the terror and dehumanization of slavery, a girl’s courage and growing sense of self amid terrible odds, and a family’s binding love and unyielding spirit.
Great for 4th-8th graders.
What Else You Should Read:
- Serafina's Promise by Ann Burg
- Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor
- Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton