|Unbound : a novel in verse|
Author: Burg, Ann E.
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.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 184417
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 6.20
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 69455
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (08/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 4–8—Grace is a light-skinned, blue-eyed slave who is called to work in "The Big House," leaving behind her family and friends in the fields. What she sees of the Master and Missus gives Grace even more motivation to escape, including Missus's decision to sell members of Grace's family at the auction block. Soon, Grace and her family flee to the Great Dismal Swamp and become "maroons" who survive independent of society. This is a historical novel in verse written in a Southern patois. Though some might find the language challenging, strong readers will appreciate the rhythmic flow of the poetry and the well-executed pacing. Shedding light on a period of U.S. history that is often ignored, Burg's portrayal of the Great Dismal Swamp and the runaways' sanctuary reads like a testimony—the book is, in fact, based on narratives of the formerly enslaved. VERDICT This is an ideal selection for classrooms and libraries and would incorporate easily into history and social studies curricula across a wide grade range, from upper elementary through middle school.—Shalini Miskelly, St. Benedict Catholic School, Seattle - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2016 Young Grace is both frightened and resentful at the prospect of working in the Big House, away from Mama and the rest of her family in the slave cabins. “Promise you’ll keep your mouth closed,” Mama exhorts her. But when Grace balks at Big House routines, gets on the wrong side of the cruel Missus, and overhears plans to sell her family as a punishment for her perceived impudence, her family’s daring plot to run away and live in the Great Dismal Swamp takes hold. Burg’s compelling story in verse clips along with a lyrical rhythm. 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. 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. An illuminating and affecting story. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.