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Author: MacColl, Michaela
St. Louis, Missouri, isn't an easy place for a young black girl in 1849. Especially if your name is Eliza Scott and your father is Dred Scott--who is suing his master for your freedom.
Kirkus Reviews (-) (08/01/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 5–8—History comes alive in this imagining of the life of Eliza Scott, one of the daughters of Dred Scott, the slave at the center of a landmark case in American history. This novel begins after the Scott family has sued their owners for their freedom and they're waiting to hear a VERDICT. The Scotts are forced to live in the St. Louis, MO, jail, and all of the wages they earn are held in escrow by the sheriff. Not much is known about the real-life Eliza, but these authors' depict her as brave, headstrong, and intelligent. She attends a secret school for black children where she has learned to read, and she longs for a different life than that of her parents. But it is her fear of being imprisoned that ultimately puts her freedom in jeopardy. Against her mother's wishes, Eliza takes a job with one of her father's former owners, Charlotte Charless. In the midst of the chaos and fear caused by a cholera outbreak, Eliza crosses paths with the greedy son of Charlotte, Mark Charless, who is desperate for money to fund his Gold Rush dreams. As her family is fighting for their freedom, Eliza's own struggle takes a more dramatic and immediate turn. Not shying away from some of the ugly truths from this part of our country's history, this book addresses slavery, kidnapping, and the overall appalling treatment of black people. While the characterization is well done, the dialogue is a bit stiff. Ultimately, however, this book is a compelling and exciting narrative as well as a window into a possible history. VERDICT A great choice to support school curriculum.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.