Out From This Place

Out From This Place

by Joyce Hansen

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After their daring run for freedom, Obi and Easter were separated in the confusion of the Civil War. But now that the war is over and the slaves are free, Easter sets out to find her old friend and take control of her life, in the powerful sequel to the Coretta Scott King Honor Book WHICH WAY FREEDOM?


After their daring run for freedom, Obi and Easter were separated in the confusion of the Civil War. But now that the war is over and the slaves are free, Easter sets out to find her old friend and take control of her life, in the powerful sequel to the Coretta Scott King Honor Book WHICH WAY FREEDOM?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-9 This sequel to Which Way Freedom (Walker, 1986) follows Obi's companion in escape, Easter. She joins a group of slaves (including her beloved Jason) who are running away from their former master. They escape to the islands off the coast of South Carolina, where they work on a plantation for pay and, reportedly, will have have the opportunity to buy their land. Easter learns to read, then must make a decision: wait for Obi to come for her and continue to make inquiries about him or go to a real school in Philadelphia. Hansen has written another wonderful tale, showing the unfairness of the situations in which freed slaves often found themselves. The use of black dialect may slow down some readers at first, but it adds tremendously to the novel, making Easter spring to life. Although a familiarity with the first book isn't required, it does give readers a better background for the incidents to which Easter refers. Fans of the first book will enjoy it, and will be excited about the epilogue, which seems to suggest a third book will be coming. Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Yes, Ethiopia yet shall stretch
Her bleeding bands abroad;
Her cry of agony shall reach
Up to the throne of God.
Frances E. W. Harper

"You a runaway?" the man asked. "What you doin' here?"

"Nothing, suh," Easter said, scrambling up quickly off the ground. The man's battered hat shaded his eyes. He pointed a shotgun in her face. His hound sat quietly at his feet. "I lost," she added as she bent down and picked up her hat, keeping one eye on the shotgun.

"Lost? How you get lost? Is you a boy or girl?"

"A boy. Name Ezra," she answered, avoiding his eyes. "My master send me to work for the soldiers. Me and some of the other boys was foraging for food for the camp. They go one way and I go another. I come from 'round here, and I want to visit my master." She thought about Jason, and tears welled up convincingly in her eyes. "I love my master and I want to see him." Her full mouth trembled slightly.

"Who your master?"

"John Jennings, suh. He have a tobacco farm near here.

"Never hear of no John Jennings. "

Her heart sank. "You know Master Phillips? He have a big plantation, and my master sell tobacco to him."

"There's a good-size plantation about five miles from here, I think."

Finding the Phillips plantation would be as good as getting to the farm. She knew many of the people there and could get information about Jason. The man kept his gun trained on her. "You sure you ain't no runaway? I could use some help 'round my farm." He moved closer to her, and the dog stood up. She backed away from him.

"No, suh. I ain't no runaway. Tryin' to getto my master is all. Where you say the plantation is? If I find the plantation, I find my master farm easy."

He ignored her question. "You took hungry. I'll give you some food, then you help me. Then I'll let you go."

"Oh no, suh. Have to go now." She knew that if she ran, he'd probably fire his gun at her and the dog would give chase. Worry lines creased her forehead. "Please, suh. I have to see my master now. Then I go back to the soldiers. I belong to the Confederates. Otherwise I be glad to help you."

He hesitated and stopped moving toward her.

"Suh, I the property of the Confederates," she repeated, since that seemed to make him somewhat nervous. "Just want to see my master 'fore the soldiers come look for me. The soldiers near here, so could you tell me where the big plantation is?" she pleaded.

"Get out of here and head yonder." He pointed toward a field edged with tall pines. "I don't want trouble with them soldiers. "

Easter sped off before the farmer changed his mind. She didn't care about the danger of running in the daytime. She raced across the field toward the pines and found herself back in the woods. Hoping she wasn't going around in a circle, she followed the odor of burning wood, which led her out of the forest and brought her face to face with a large expanse of cotton fields. Male and female hands were hoeing the dirt around the rows of plants. There seemed to be too few workers for the fields that had to be hoed. Easter rubbed her throbbing head. Although most cotton fields looked alike, there was something familiar about this one.

She knew that across the fields there were peach orchards, and there were live oak trees lining the avenue to the large two-story house where the Phillips family lived. She also knew that behind the big house a footpath led to the slave cabins. This had to be the Phillips plantation.

Easter plopped down onto the ground and cried and laughed all at once. The road that led to the Jennings farm was on the other side of the big house. Before going to the farm, though, she'd look for her friend Rose, who was the cook's helper. Rose would be able to give her all of the news and could probably tell her where Jason was.

Easter slipped back into the woods and made her way to the other side of the plantation. Every bush, tree, stick, and rock seemed familiar now. When she'd gone around the fields and had reached the slave quarters, she carefully stepped out of the forest. There was less chance someone would discover her there, because everyone was working. There were only some children holding hands and turning around in a circle. They reminded her of Jason. He used to love coming to the plantation to play the ring games with the children there. The old woman who cared for the youngsters while their parents worked in the fields didn't see Easter slip behind a row of cabins and walk quickly toward the big house.

By the position of the sun, Easter figured that it was about two o'clock in the afternoon. She wished that she had some kind of bundle to carry so that she'd look as if she was working. Her eyes darted nervously as she gazed around. She didn't want to run into the master or Mistress Phillips. Several men chopping wood ignored her. Two boys carrying water to the fields glanced her way with uninterested eyes. Two unfamiliar women walked toward her. Each carried a large basket of laundry on her head, while deep in conversation.

Easter averted her face as she hurried past them, but they didn't look in her direction. She sensed a strange quietness about the place. She spotted smoke coming from the kitchen, which was a building adjacent to but separate from the big house. If things were still the same, then her friend Rose and the cook would be in the kitchen preparing the Phillipses' supper. Easter knew that Rose and the cook would help her.

Meet the Author

Joyce Hansen is a distinguished author of many books for children, both fiction and nonfiction, who specializes in African American History. Four of her books have received Coretta Scott King Honors, including Which Way Freedom, the first book in the Obi and Easter trilogy.

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