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Publisher's Summary

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, 12-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.

©2022 Amina Luqman-Dawson (P)2022 Jimmy Patterson

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Powerful, Enlightening, and Empowering!

I started this book two days ago and only stopped listening when I HAD TO! It was so innovative and engaging. I’ve never read an account of enslavement through the eyes of children and the friction and rivalry between them was so real! I was especially impressed with the story of Two Shoes. Although I accept the reality of many enslaved people succumbing to the wicked propositions of slaveholders, I enchanted by Ms. Dawson’s beautifully scripted twist of this particular story. I also love the way Ms. Dawson incorporated the many personalities, fears, and strengths of the children.

To be honest, though, it took me a little while to really place myself in the time period because the narrators for the characters Homer and Ada didn’t speak in the vernacular of enslaved people who had not been taught “correct” English. There sounded “educated”. They spoke eloquently, matching subjects and predicates, or nouns and verbs, adjectives, saying Mrs. as opposed to missus. However, the storyline soon captivated me and I was able to work past that annoyance. Aside from that, the narrator’s were superb. They melded well into the characters with seemingly little effort. I highly recommend this book to parents and teachers of all grades as a read-aloud and book discussion. It is powerful, enlightening, and empowering!

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Engaging story with lovable characters for all

I heard about this story on NPR and decided to listen to it ans was not disappointed. The characters are lovable and the story so well told anyone can believe and enjoy as it unfolds.
I wholeheartedly recommend this story.

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Great Red

Thank you Lurie Daniels-Favors for he recommendation. Loved the story and the concept of freedom ❤️

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Truly Stunning!!!

This is the book our country has been waiting for. This is the book our youth deserve. The author mixes, historical fact, suspense, joy, sorrow and beautiful humor to look at slavery through a completely new lens. The audio book definitely does this book justice.

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Clear your calendar

Once you start listening to this phenomenal story, you won’t be able to stop. Very original and extremely satisfying. Great narrators, too.