Gabriel's Journey (Racing to Freedom Trilogy #3)

Gabriel's Journey (Racing to Freedom Trilogy #3)

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by Alison Hart
     
 

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In the final book of the Racing to Freedom trilogy, ex-slave Gabriel leaves behind a successful horse racing career to join his parents at Camp Nelson, where his father is a Sergeant in the Fifth U.S. Colored Calvary of the Union Army.

Twelve-year-old Gabriel is too young to join the regiment as a soldier, but finds a job as personal groom to Champion, the

Overview

In the final book of the Racing to Freedom trilogy, ex-slave Gabriel leaves behind a successful horse racing career to join his parents at Camp Nelson, where his father is a Sergeant in the Fifth U.S. Colored Calvary of the Union Army.

Twelve-year-old Gabriel is too young to join the regiment as a soldier, but finds a job as personal groom to Champion, the unruly horse that belongs to Col. Waite, the white commander. When the Calvary receives orders to join white regiments in an attack on the Virginia salt works, Gabriel surreptitiously gets a hold of a horse and a uniform and joins the troops. But being a soldier is a lot harder than he imagined. Bad, weather, rough riding, dwindling supplies, and blatant racism wear heavily on his spirit. When his father and Col. Waite are not among the weary and wounded who return from battle, Gabriel mounts Champion and rides to the battlefield in search of them.

In the final book of this highly engrossing historical fiction trilogy set during the Civil War, author Alison Hart continues to explore the complex relationships between black and white, slave and master, and North and South. The result is a gripping story that vividly brings to life the danger and drama of a time when war and issues of race and freedom divided the country.

Background historical material, photos, and suggestions for further reading are included.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
The third book in the "Racing to Freedom" trilogy, this historical novel about the Civil War follows thirteen-year-old Gabriel Alexander's journey in 1864 to Camp Nelson, Kentucky, leaving behind the horse farm where he earned his freedom from slavery and became a successful young jockey. His father is a sergeant in a newly-formed Colored Cavalry regiment; Gabriel longs to fight for his people's freedom, too. While his mother works at the camp as a laundress, Gabriel becomes groom to his white captain's spirited mount. He soon realizes that colored soldiers face racism in the Union ranks and must make do with much less than white cavalrymen. As the regiment is ordered out to capture a Confederate salt works, Gabriel learns about the horrors of war through a grueling march, a bloody battle, the death of friends, and betrayal by a commander. His love of horses (and the author's) shines through in heart-breaking scenes of fear and anxiety, the abandonment of wounded soldiers, the slaughter of blacks by Confederates, and the near-loss of Gabriel's father. Though the use of dialect is sometimes uneven, Gabriel's story, told in the first-person present voice, is still compelling. Notes and photographs at the end explain the historical background, perhaps unfamiliar to many young readers. Interestingly, Hart has incorporated into her narrative the names and fates of several real black Union cavalrymen and one Confederate guerilla. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561454426
Publisher:
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Series:
Racing to Freedom Trilogy , #3
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,375,742
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Gabriel's Journey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This suspenseful book ends the Gabriel series at the Battle of Saltville in Virginia. Since it's all about the cavalry, the emphasis is still on horses. A grand way to read about and understand the Civil War and the contribution of African Americans.