Author: Nolen, Jerdine
In the antebellum South, two siblings shelter a large, mysterious, wounded bird and eventually follow it west toward freedom.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 511713
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/19)
The Hornbook (00/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2020 Set not long before the Civil War, Nolen's latest picture book portrays the inhumane subjugation of the enslaved Wheeler family, particularly the young brother and sister, John and Millicent, in an age-appropriate way while also illustrating their heart-felt desire for emancipation. After their parents are sold from their plantation, the children are forced to do the work of adults from sunup to sundown while holding on to the “seeds of freedom” planted in their hearts and minds. The poignant imagery of slaves flying away like birds to make themselves free resonates with Millicent and John even more deeply once they rescue a large crane that was injured by the overseer of the farm. After learning of John’s impending sale to a plantation further south, the children decide to “make themselves free” and follow the bird west to deliverance as a mysterious storm keeps their pursuers at bay. Ransome's saturated, realistic paintings highlight the siblings’ fear and determination, humanizing their suffering while underscoring the bravery it took to seek liberty. A moving choice for children's collections. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.