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Author: Ransome, James
A slave family is distressed when they discover their son Ben has run away.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 1.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 501776
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/01/18)
Booklist (+) (11/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/18)
The Hornbook (+) (00/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2018 *Starred Review* Every dawn begins the same for the enslaved family of four featured in this book: “The bell rings, / and no sun in the sky. / Daddy gathers wood. / Mama cooks. / We eat.” The father, mother, and son go to work in the fields, while the daughter spends her days with the younger children. One morning, her brother presents his sister with a handmade doll, a kiss, and a “good-bye.” The next day, the family discovers that Ben has run away. Tears, fear, and sorrow overtake the family as they wonder about the fate of their beloved son and brother. Beautifully rendered acrylic paintings reveal the closeness of the family, whose pleasure at being together is evident. The richly colored vignettes in Coretta Scott King Award–winning Ransome's single- and double-page-spread paintings clearly picture the emotions felt by the family and the day-to-day monotony of their lives. Swallows are seen flying on the endpapers and over the Sunday prayer gathering, signaling the freedom the family hopes Ben has achieved. The last illustration shows the girl looking at the detested bell, leaving readers to wonder if she is thinking of the day she might choose to run away also. A powerful tale of slavery and its two terrible options: stay or run. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.