Almost to Freedom

( 5 )

Overview

Sally, tattered rag doll, tells the story of a young girl and her parents as they escape from slavery and start the dangerous journey along the Underground Railroad to a place called Freedom. Lindy and Sally are best friends -- wherever Lindy goes, so does Sally. They eat together, sleep together, and they even pick cotton together. So, when Lindy and her mama run away one night, Sally goes too. At their first stop, Sally and Lindy are hiding in the basement when slave catchers approach. Lindy and her parents ...
See more details below
Hardcover
$12.64
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$16.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $9.92   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

Sally, tattered rag doll, tells the story of a young girl and her parents as they escape from slavery and start the dangerous journey along the Underground Railroad to a place called Freedom. Lindy and Sally are best friends -- wherever Lindy goes, so does Sally. They eat together, sleep together, and they even pick cotton together. So, when Lindy and her mama run away one night, Sally goes too. At their first stop, Sally and Lindy are hiding in the basement when slave catchers approach. Lindy and her parents must escape quickly. In the rush Sally is left behind, will she be found? Stunning paintings capture the drama and emotion of this unforgettable story.

Tells the story of a young girl's dramatic escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad, from the perspective of her beloved rag doll.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Lindy's beloved rag doll, Sally, tells how Lindy's family escapes on the Underground Railroad to find freedom "in a place called North." The doll's narrative and Bootman's dark, dramatic paintings bring close the child's daily experience: the cruel separation and physical punishment, and then the adventure of running away and hiding. At times it's hard to distinguish Sally from Lindy--why not just let the child tell the story herself? But then there's an anguished twist in the plot: the child and her doll are separated. Lindy gets away, but in the turmoil she leaves her doll behind. When another escaping child finds Sally and hugs her to herself, the story comes full circle. That's a powerful way to express the sorrow of loving families torn apart, and Bootman's stirring portraits, many of them set at night, in rich shades of purple and brown, show that the small rag doll bears witness to historical events of cruelty and courage. Hazel Rochman Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly
As she explains in an author's note, Nelson (Mayfield Crossing) was inspired to write this story by a folk art museum's exhibit of black rag dolls, a few of which were discovered in Underground Railroad hideouts. Narrating this touching tale is a doll named Sally, who begins, "I started out no more'n a bunch of rags on a Virginia plantation." Miz Rachel stitches Sally together for her daughter, Lindy, who hugs the doll and tells her, "We gonna be best friends." Through Sally's perceptive eyes, readers catch a hard-hitting glimpse of slave life: as mother and daughter pick cotton under the gaze of an overseer, Sally hears him holler at them "like he's talkin' to a couple of horses." And after "Massa" whips Lindy when she asks his son how to spell her name, the tearful girl vows to her doll that someday "we be goin' to Freedom." A captivating account of escape via the Underground Railroad includes many suspenseful moments, among them a hasty departure from a safehouse that results in Lindy's inadvertently leaving Sally behind. Readers will be saddened by this turn of events-until another escaping slave child makes the doll her own. Nelson's writing is immediate and often lyrical. Yet it is Bootman's (The Music in Derrick's Heart) realistic paintings, distinctive for their skillful use of light and darkness, that best convey the story's pathos and urgency. Ages 6-10. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
"No more'n a bunch of rags on a Virginia plantation," Sally the rag doll tells her story in the vernacular. She is the much-loved companion of Lindy, who picks cotton with her mother listening to the tales of "somethin' called Freedom." One night they escape through the Underground Railroad. It is a harrowing trip, but they are helped all along the way. Climbing out of a hiding place, Lindy accidentally leaves Sally behind. Her sad loneliness is ended when another young fugitive takes her in her arms for comfort on her way to freedom. Paintings, full and double page, emphasize the melodramatic emotions. Set primarily at night, Bootman's narrative scenes emerge out of the enveloping dark, faces illuminated by moonlight or other non-specific source. In this naturalistic scenario with strong emotional content, the human relationships are depicted with particular attention to family. The Author's Note adds information on the Underground Railroad and the doll she saw in a museum that inspired the story. A useful glossary of historic words is included. 2003, Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group, Ages 6 to 9.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A compelling story told from the point of view of an enslaved child's beloved rag doll. Made for young Lindy by her mama, Miz Rachel, the hand-stitched toy is the girl's most prized possession. She tells her, "Your name be Sally. We gonna be best friends." When the child's father is sold and Lindy is beaten for asking Massa's son how to spell her name, the horrid conditions of the cotton plantation become intolerable. One night Miz Rachel wakes Lindy and they run for their lives. They are reunited with Mr. Henry and the fugitive family heads North to freedom. They are given shelter at a station on the Underground Railroad, but must flee from slave catchers in the middle of the night. In the frantic scramble, Sally is left behind. The doll is lonely for her friend and worries for the safety of Lindy and her folks. When another child and her mother are sheltered in the basement, the doll joins her new best friend on her trip to Freedom. This accessible story is told in language that is within the experience of a young child and makes its impact without frightening or overwhelming readers. It is ultimately a story of hope and resilience, love and friendship. The evocative oil paintings are expertly rendered and effectively convey the powerful emotions of the tale. A fine addition to most collections.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A doll's-eye view of slavery and escape fails to succeed. Miz Rachel fashioned Sally out of cloth for her little girl, Lindy. Doll and girl spend all their time together in the field working, at the meetings where freedom is discussed, and even when Lindy's papa is sold "down the river." Every last familiar plot twist is here: the difficult field work, the cruel overseers, the beating Lindy endures when she is caught writing words in the sand, the harrowing escape, the reunion with Lindy's papa, who has somehow managed to meet his family on a darkened river road, and the kindly white couple who hides the threesome in a cellar. Dark, expressive paintings accompany the narrative, though the brilliantly white headscarves seem oddly misplaced during the nighttime escape. The dialect fluctuates haphazardly from sentence to sentence losing the voice altogether. The unusual choice of a doll as narrator may appeal to some readers. Reread Deborah Hopkinson's Under the Quilt of Night (2001) instead. (author's note, limited glossary) (Picture book. 6-10)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575053424
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: Carolrhoda Picture Books Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 337,949
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.24 (w) x 11.38 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2005

    Loved the book

    I really liked the book. I thought the pictures went very well with the story that was being told. It has a lot of meaning and causes you to think about situations one tends to forget about. i really liked the story line of the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    Wonderful story that all should read.

    I read this book, and decided to do a whole unit on the Underground Railroad just so that I can read it to my students.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    Almost to Freedom

    Nelson, an accomplished storyteller, brings young readers and listeners an exceptional story of the Underground Railroad. Sally is a rag doll belonging to Lindy, a slave child. She has a 'right important job' as comfort and companion to Lindy throught the hardships of slavery and her family's flight to freedom. Sally is lost on the trip, and after a lonely, weary time, she becomes comfort and companion to another slave child. The illustrations by Colin Bootman are stunning, capturing the warmth and drama of the story. Another fine tale adding to Nelson's award-winning work.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2003

    Wonderful, heartwarming story for all ages.

    This book tells a story all should hear. Don't expect to have a dry eye by the end of the story. I am buying a copy for myself and for my teacher/daughter's first grade class. A delightful book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2003

    Almost to Freedom

    Almost to Freedom is the story of a family's flight to freedom. It is a deeply moving tale, cast in a fresh light, as it is told by the child's ragdoll. The doll's voice is poignant and perfect for the story. With its beautiful illustrations, this is a book for every home and library. Hurrah! and Bravo! for this much needed and marvelous book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)