I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 (Dear America Series)

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the ripe but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.

Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the ripe but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the ripe but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.

Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the ripe but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
In this historical fiction selection from the "Dear America" series, the newly freed slaves of Davis Hall plantation of South Carolina find their lives in turmoil. Patsy has lived at Davis Hall for all of her life. Unfit for fieldwork due to a limp, she has tended to the master's niece and nephew, learning surreptitiously to read and write. The ending of the Civil War has brought, in theory, the long-sought freedom, but the former slaves are still tied to the plantation. For Patsy, it means being shuttled from one plantation job to another as workers leave. Then, when the promised teacher does not show up, she begins to tutor the young and old slaves. Armed with the ability to read and write, Patsy and her people are able to leave Davis Hall to seek a better life. While the story is told in the first person, it is done without dialect, which makes for an easier read. The author has included historical notes, maps and pictures from the period.
Children's Literature - Michelle H. Martin
One title in the "Dear America" series of historical fiction novels, Patsy's story is based on the life of a servant girl and former slave in Mars Bluff, South Carolina. The diary details Patsy's life from April 1865 to January 1866, a critical point during emancipation and Reconstruction. Although Patsy's greatest desire is to learn to read and write and to educate other freed slaves, she suffers from the triple disabilities of stuttering, severe shyness, and a limp which results from having been born with one leg shorter than the other, leading everyone to assume that she is mute and slow-witted. When Patsy finally gathers the courage to show one of her fellow laborers that she has taught herself to read, her life begins to change radically. Far outdistancing the American Girl books in quality, this series excels in character development, accurate historical details, and interesting subplots about southern life during this era. Despite my own knowledge of slavery and what followed, I was struck by the freedoms that African-Americans enjoyed during Reconstruction that they all but lost until the 1960s. The diary entries combined with the rich historical information in the back of the book inform as they entertain. Both my understanding of and my emotional connection to the freedmen of the 1860s are forever altered as a result of my having read this novel. Even readers with no particular interest in history will find themselves enthralled by Patsy's story.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8--Set in the days following the Civil War, this novel, written in diary format, traces the thoughts, feeling, and events in the life of 12-year-old Patsy. Like many of the other freed slaves, Patsy remains at Davis Hall plantation to work for her former master for wages. As a joke, she had been given a blank book by Mrs. Davis's niece. Patsy, however, has secretly learned to read and write and now this diary serves as companion as she questions what freedom means, comments on the former slaves as they leave the plantation, wonders what will become of her a disabled orphan, and writes of her hope to be a teacher. Hansen describes a time not often covered and, in doing so, increases understanding of the Reconstruction period. She never loses sight of the story, however, delivering enough suspense to keep her plot moving. An epilogue, historical note, reproductions of photos, words and music to "Free at Last," a gingerbread recipe, and maps round out the book.--Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590849135
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Series: Dear America Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2005

    This Book Rocks

    I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly is an extremely rocking book. Going from an under recognized free slave, to a well known and loved teacher, Patsy really finds herslef, and takes pride in teaching children on Davis Hall Plantation in place of a true teacher, but in everyone elses eyes, Patsy is the true teacher. I highly recomend reading this book. It will forever be instilled in my head.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    Okay

    this book was good but i didn't see very much action. it also made me mad that she never told anyone how smart she was or that she could read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 10, 2010

    great read!

    I read this book when i was 10 years old and i still remember this book till this day. Its an amazing book, I learned so much from it took me a while to hunt it down glad i found it!

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

    Posted May 24, 2007

    AWESOME!

    I absolutely loved this book! It really helps you think about what slavery was like. There's mystery, excitement, sadness, and even a teensie bit of romance. This book is for people of all ages! It was great!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 22, 2007

    good

    it was good not great like Jahanara that was a good book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2007

    great

    this book was great especially if you like to learn about slaves like i do and what they did on their average day at work.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 22, 2006

    Lace ,NY finest , book lover

    I think this book was OUTSTANDING! It had a mixer of drama and comedy and I loved every second of it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 25, 2005

    Christa, the best lacrosse player and i love to read!

    this book was awesome!! for a kid like me it tought me something and i now know that slaves were just like regular people only the owners treated the horrible! This book tought me to not judge a book by its cover!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2005

    Inspiring

    One of the best books I've ever read. My absolute favorite of the Dear America books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2005

    This book was AWSOME!!!!!!

    This book was awsome and it was so touching!!!! :}

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2005

    Heartwarming

    It was beautiful and heartwarming. I couldn't put the book done.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 6, 2005

    Da Bomb

    This is one of the best books I've ever read. I couldn't put it down. I have read it over and over again. I feel like I am Patsy and I am there teaching the children. i highly recommend it.

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

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Very touching!

    This book is one of the most touching books I have ever read. I can relate to it and I am very amazed how the author brought the main character alive, based on slavery.

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

    Posted October 13, 2003

    WOW

    it very touching it almost make me cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Posted August 6, 2003

    Insperational to me how they lived then. Amaising!!!

    I read It to my mom and she said that she liked it a lot . THe reason I liked it was that it shows kids what it was like to live in 1856. My mom isnt in to history books, but this one got her attiton, Fast!

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

    Posted June 7, 2003

    Beautiful

    This book was very touching. The lead character Patsy is very smart but everyone thinks she is stupid.I couldn't stop reading it.

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

    Posted May 12, 2003

    Great

    I think the book was very interesting and had a lot of true facts about slavery but there could have been more details at the end , otherwise it was great.

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

    Posted December 15, 2002

    Fantastic!

    I thought my soul would rise and fly is a great book. It showed me what might have happened in the old days.

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

    Posted October 27, 2002

    You Have to get it or you'll be missing an awsome opportunity!!

    I found this book soooooooooooooo interesting! That night I read it I couln't put it down. Pasty has many thoughts for the future and longs to be free once free she is very excited but... she doesn't know what freedom is until she moves away. Through many trials Pasty learns to love her master mistress and fellow servants. This is one of the most intreguing books in history. You must get it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):)

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

    Posted October 19, 2002

    This is a very good book

    This book is very good. I have read twice so far.I must recommend that everybody read this book. Email me if you want to talk about this book and other Dear America books. Goodbye.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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