Monday, April 24, 2017

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Unbound

Unbound
by Ann E. Burg
Scholastic (2017)
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. 
Who Should Read It:

Great for 4th-8th graders.

What Else You Should Read:

3 comments:

Linda B said...

I read this book for the Cybils awards and enjoyed it immensely. Sharing the story of a young girl seemed to make the book even more poignant, and hard for us to imagine, but important to know. Thanks!

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

I've always loved historical fiction, but for some reason haven't been reading much on it recently. Thanks for this recommendation.

Alex Baugh said...

I read this and found it to be very different from what I had expected. I had expected this to be a typical Underground Railroad story, and was surprised when it wasn't. I had never heard of there being runaway slaves living in the Great Swamp and found the to be so interesting.

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