by Ann E. Burg
Published by Scholastic Press
Burg (Serafina’s Promise and All The Broken Pieces) tells this verse novel through the voice of Grace. Grace, a light-skinned & blue -eyed nine year old, is called up to the “Big House” to work in the kitchen. She is light enough to pass which makes her desirable. Mama, Uncle Jim and Aunt Sara warn her how to behave and what will befall if she crosses the Master and Missus. Grace cannot control her sense of fairness and she talks back to the Missus. In retribution the Missus gets her husband to sell Mama and her two little brothers at the auction block. Getting wind of the plan Grace alerts her family and they take flight. They go deep into the swamp to seek safety in the Great Dismal Swamp. An author’s note provides historical context and background. Written in verse the author has captured the southern lilt of a slave child determined to find freedom.
As the author states on her webpage: “Some words are beautiful. Some are not. Some sparkle like glittering fireflies. Others are heavy and hurtful as rocks. I’ve collected them all. Words shape my world.” And words shape this story of Grace and her determination to find freedom and justice.
Pick up a copy at the Portland Public Libraryposted: , by Mary Peverada