Freedom Stone

Freedom Stone

3.6 5
by Jeffrey Kluger
     
 

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Lillie's papa believed in freedom-for him, his family, and all the slaves on the Greenfog plantation. So when the Confederate Army promised freedom to the family of every slave who served in the Civil War-whether they came home or not-Lillie's papa decided he had to take the chance.

But when Lillie's family got the news that her papa was killed, they weren't

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Overview

Lillie's papa believed in freedom-for him, his family, and all the slaves on the Greenfog plantation. So when the Confederate Army promised freedom to the family of every slave who served in the Civil War-whether they came home or not-Lillie's papa decided he had to take the chance.

But when Lillie's family got the news that her papa was killed, they weren't freed. The army claimed that Lillie's papa was a thief. Lillie knew that couldn't be true! Even worse, the master started making plans to sell off Lillie's little brother, Plato. With the help of an old slave, Bett, who bakes bread that bends time, Lillie travels to the battle during which her father died to find out the true story. Using a little magic of her own, Lillie rights a few wrongs and buys her family their freedom. This is a beautiful tale filled with magic and hope and love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a quiet story that builds steam as it unfolds, 14-year-old slave Lillie undertakes incredible risks and defies time itself to save her six-year-old brother, Plato, from being sold at auction at Greenfog plantation, the only home they've ever known. By all accounts, Lillie, Plato, and their mother should be free, since her father fought for the Confederacy and died at Vicksburg, just four months earlier. However, when her deceased father is accused of having stolen money from another plantation, their freedom is denied, leaving Lillie and Plato in danger of being sold. Spirited, strong-willed Lillie and Bett, a wise and gentle slave who can bend time through her baking, set out to prove Lillie's father's innocence and save her family. Kluger (Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats) adeptly mixes drama, fantasy, romance, and history, while creating characters so determined to survive that readers can't help being drawn into their plights. In a climax that breaks with reality but that will keep readers hungry to learn the outcome, Kluger proves his storytelling prowess. Ages 9–up. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Kluger portrays the everyday horrors of slavery while mixing in magic and time travel for an atmosphere of possibilities and hope. Thirteen-year-old Lillie's father joins the Confederate army expecting to win freedom for himself and his family. However, he is killed during the siege of Vicksburg and accused of having been a thief. The coins found on Papa become the property of the Master, who is no longer obliged to free the family. Lillie; her six-year-old brother, Plato; and their mother are devastated by his loss and the unjustified allegation, but as slaves they have no power to contest it. What's more, because of his financial problems, the Master begins to consider selling Plato. When magic enters her life by way of an elderly slave and her prized African stone, Lillie gets the chance to clear her father's name and win freedom for her family. Lillie's love for her brother and mother and the danger and intrigue that she faces make for an engaging and satisfying story.—Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ
Kirkus Reviews

Thirteen-year-old Lillie has lived her whole life in slavery on the Greenfog plantation in South Carolina. Her father joined the Confederate Army with the promise of freedom for himself and his family, but when he was killed at the Battle of Vicksburg and a bag of gold was found on him, he was labeled a thief and the promise of freedom was broken. With the help of Bett, an old Ibo charm worker who can bend time with her bread baking, Lillie plans to travel back to the battle and find the truth in order to free her family. The novel is strongest in its depiction of slavery and the idea of one old slave's acts of quiet dissidence, but the central premise of magical bread and time travel, besides being ponderously developed, is a silly contrivance, insulting to the reality of slavery and the millions who had no magic to ease the anguish of their daily existence. Young readers will feel for Lillie and not be comforted by hope in magical African stones and bread baking. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399252143
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/06/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,227,038
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 5.84(h) x 1.08(d)
Lexile:
1030L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Klugeris a senior writer at Time. Coauthor of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, which was the basis for the movie Apollo 13, he is also the author of Moon Hunters: NASA's Remarkable Expeditions to the Ends of the Solar System.

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