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Freewater



by
Amina Luqman-Dawson

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Hachette Book Group
Imprint
Little, Brown/Jimmy Patterson
ISBN
9780316056618
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Social Issue: Slavery in Historical Context , Violence: General , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
$22.25   $18.54
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Debut author Amina Luqman-Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.

Under the cover of night, twelve-year-old Homer flees Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, unwillingly leaving their beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the swamp.

In this society created by formerly enslaved people and some freeborn children, Homer finds new friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he crafts a plan to find his mother and help his new home.

Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the South, this is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage.

Author’s note. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Social Issue: Slavery in Historical Context , Violence: General , Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

416

Trim Size

7 3/5" x 5 3/10"

Dewey

F

AR

4.6: points 11

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jul 2022

Book Genres

Historical Fiction

Topics

African Americans. Slavery. Brothers and sisters. Communities. Nineteenth-century US history. Prejudice and racism. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Sometimes, to be free, you have to make a life in a place where no one can find you. Freewater is such a place. With their mother leading the way, Homer and his younger sister Ada try to escape their hellish lives of slavery on the Southerland Plantation. But Homer remembers his promise of freedom to his friend Anna; his mother turns back for her but is caught. Homer and Ada run to nearby river and plunge into the raging waters that carry them into the Great Dismal Swamp. Lost and disoriented, they are rescued by Suleman, a mysterious and taciturn guide who leads them through the inhospitable swamp to Freewater, a settlement of escaped men, women, and children living in freedom. Slowly, Homer begins to appreciate living and working together to contribute to the thriving community. But what about his mama? Plagued by guilt about his mother's capture, Homer decides to return to the plantation to rescue his mother and Anna. His new friends from Freewater pledge to return with him. Using a hand-drawn map that (unbelievably) survives multiple drenchings, Homer and company undertake the seemingly impossible rescue. Told from many alternating points of view, it is somewhat challenging to keep the characters straight at the outset. While using archeological evidence of settlements of formerly enslaved people within the Great Dismal Swamp as the basis for the text, the story itself is a speculative look into such a community. VERDICT A fascinating look at a fictional Black resistance settlement in little-known place.-Lisa Crandall

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Sometimes, to be free, you have to make a life in a place where no one can find you. Freewater is such a place. With their mother leading the way, Homer and his younger sister Ada try to escape their hellish lives of slavery on the Southerland Plantation. But Homer remembers his promise of freedom to his friend Anna; his mother turns back for her but is caught. Homer and Ada run to nearby river and plunge into the raging waters that carry them into the Great Dismal Swamp. Lost and disoriented, they are rescued by Suleman, a mysterious and taciturn guide who leads them through the inhospitable swamp to Freewater, a settlement of escaped men, women, and children living in freedom. Slowly, Homer begins to appreciate living and working together to contribute to the thriving community. But what about his mama? Plagued by guilt about his mother's capture, Homer decides to return to the plantation to rescue his mother and Anna. His new friends from Freewater pledge to return with him. Using a hand-drawn map that (unbelievably) survives multiple drenchings, Homer and company undertake the seemingly impossible rescue. Told from many alternating points of view, it is somewhat challenging to keep the characters straight at the outset. While using archeological evidence of settlements of formerly enslaved people within the Great Dismal Swamp as the basis for the text, the story itself is a speculative look into such a community. VERDICT A fascinating look at a fictional Black resistance settlement in little-known place.-Lisa Crandall

Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Stories with strong, relatable characters that portray believable contemporary or historical real-life experiences.

14 books per Year
$285.46 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$285.46 per Year

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