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Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    one of the best pre-Civil War historical fiction books I've read

    Set in rural Washington County, southern Pennsylvania, during the year 1836, Brady tells the story of teenager Brady Minton's coming of age during the pre-Civil War era. Brady lives with his father, a preacher who is known to be generally anti-slavery; his mother, who was from Virginia and is more favorable toward slavery; his widower Uncle Earl, who is also anti-slavery but serves as sheriff and has to uphold the law; and Uncle Earl's ten-year-old daughter Mary Dorcas. His oldest brother Luke had married and moved to Ohio. His other brother Matt has just been appointed a history professor at Washington College. His Uncle Will, Aunt Sadie, and grandmother lived not too far away in the next county north. His best friend is his neighbor Range Hadley. And his worst enemy, besides Laban Williams whose father is a strong pro-slavery man, is himself.
    Brady can't keep a secret. He just has to tell everything that he knows, and it gets him into trouble. When he and Range are walking through the woods, they pass the cabin of their eccentric neighbor Drover Hull, and a couple of colored men are working in his field. Drover's house is a station on the Underground Railroad. Brady isn't sure whether he's for or against slavery, but he just had to tell his family what he saw. His father seems disappointed in him, and later Brady learns why. He accidently finds out that hidden in the old goat shed, which Mr. Minton has turned into a study, is a runaway slave named Moss whom his father is planning to take to Uncle Will's house so that Moss can escape to Canada. His father and uncle are conductors on the Underground Railroad! But when Mr. Minton finally preaches an anti-slavery sermon in church, several members, including the Williams family, leave, and Mr. Williams decides to run against Uncle Earl for sheriff. Signs threatening the Mintons are nailed up around their farm, and then the night before his father is to move Moss, someone burns down their barn.
    In trying to get things out of the barn, Mr. Minton is badly injured so that he cannot take Moss away. Who set the barn afire? What does Brady think about slavery now? And can he do anything about Moss? The author says, "Although a few of the incidents in this book are based on actual happenings, the characters and the story are purely imaginary, reflecting only the spirit of the day." Besides a couple of euphemisms ("blamed" and "durn") there is nothing objectionable in this book. We did it as an after lunch family read aloud in our historical fiction series, and everyone thought that it is great. It is filled with excitement, good role models, and an exemplary family relationship. One might not agree with Brady's punching Laban Williams in the face a couple of times toward the end, but everyone should be able at least to understand his reasons for doing so.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2001

    Brady is a fun and easy read!

    I read Brady as a assignment for my 8th grade English class. I found it to be a excellent book. It has a little bit of everything including friendship, history, and leasons you can use everyday and throughout your life time. Highly recommened and the great part is you can buy a literary masterpiece for the price you would pay for a burger and fries at your local fast food joint.-John-

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2000

    Brady was a good book!

    Brady shows us all that there are two sides to everything--and that everyone has their own opinions. I think that the relationship between Brady and Range was a good friendship--and if Brady had gotten to know Moss a little better--they would have been great friends too. If you're looking for a quick read--pick up 'Brady'.

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