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Children's LiteratureAbby Joyner wants to be free. The Civil War has ended and she hears that slaves have been declared free. Abby is only thirteen but she wants to begin her life as a free black girl. Although her grandmother lives on the plantation and her master and mistress are caring people, Abby wants to find her mother. Abby doesn't know why her mother has never come back for her after she left when Abby was a baby. Abby doesn't even know where her mother is or if she is even alive, but she wants to find her. She wants to know what kind of a world lies beyond the plantation she has never left. Abby finds out that many secrets have been kept from her, and Abby determines she will find out the answers to her questions about her mother. Set on a post-Civil War plantation in Virginia, Abby's story is suspenseful and intriguing. This historical fiction mystery will hold a young reader's attention from beginning to end. 2003, Aladdin Paperbacks, Ages 9 to 13.
—Marcie Flinchum Atkins