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A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl , Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 (Dear America Series)
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A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl , Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 (Dear America Series)

4.9 60
by Patricia C. McKissack
 

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Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack's inspiring A PICTURE OF FREEDOM is now back in print with a gorgeous new cover!

It's 1859 and Clotee, a twelve-year-old slave, has the most wonderful, terrible secret. She knows that if she shares it with the wrong person, she will face unimaginable consequences. What is her secret?

Overview

Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack's inspiring A PICTURE OF FREEDOM is now back in print with a gorgeous new cover!

It's 1859 and Clotee, a twelve-year-old slave, has the most wonderful, terrible secret. She knows that if she shares it with the wrong person, she will face unimaginable consequences. What is her secret? While doing her job of fanning her master's son during his daily lessons, Clotee has taught herself to read and write. However, she soon learns that the tutor, Ely Harms, has a secret of his own.

In a time when literacy is one of the most valuable skills to have, Clotee is determined to use her secret to save herself, and her family.

Patricia C. McKissack weaves the pages of Clotee's diary with the intrigue and disloyalty of spies and traitors, the celebrations of life, and the anguish of death.

PRAISE FOR DEAR AMERICA:

"More than a supplement to classroom textbooks, this series is an imaginative, solid entre into American history." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"An impressive series that will challenge students to make connections from prominent historical events to relevant life situations . . . A wonderful asset to the classroom as well as to home libraries." --CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW SERVICE

"Engaging, accessible historical fiction." -- SLJ

"The Dear America diaries represent the best of historical fiction for any age." --CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6Clotee is an orphan living on the plantation of "Mas' Henley" and "Miz Lilly." Her owners have put her to work fanning Miz Lilly and her young son William during tutoring sessions. William may not be keen to learn, but Clotee is. She has learned to read while looking over the boy's shoulder and eventually she teaches herself how to write. She practices her newfound skills by writing in a makeshift, secret diary, which is found by William's new tutor. Luckily, he turns out to be an abolitionist. Through his work, Clotee helps some of her friends escape to the North, but she herself chooses to stay behind on the plantation as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Clotee is such a vibrant, fully rounded character that it is almost painful to think of her left on the plantation while her friends and fellow slaves go to freedom. McKissack brings Clotee alive through touching and sobering details of slave life, told in such a matter-of-fact way that their often brutal nature is made abundantly clear. However, this is in no way a depressing book. In fact, it is an inspiring look at a young girl coming of age in terrible circumstances who manages to live life to the fullest.Melissa Hudak, Northern Illinois Medical Center, McHenry, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545242530
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2011
Series:
Dear America Series
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
100,210
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Patricia C. Mckissack

Patricia C. McKissack is an award-winning author of many books for children and young adults. She is the author of three Dear America books: A PICTURE OF FREEDOM, COLOR ME DARK, and LOOK TO THE HILLS.

She has also written many prestigious titles with her husband, Fredrick L. McKissack. They are currently working on the series The Clone Codes with their grown son, John McKissack.

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A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl , Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 (Dear America Series) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 12year old girl loved this book she said slavery was so mean she could not believe thay did that and I feel the same
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
It is 1859 in Virginia. Clotee lives on Belmont Plantation and serves Mas' Henley. She feels lucky because she doesn't have to work in the fields like many of the other slaves. Her job is to attend the lessons Mas' Henley's wife teaches to her two children. When the weather is warm, Clotee's job is to fan the children as they work on their studies. The thing is, Clotee doesn't simply keep the children cool; she also watches over their shoulders and learns right along with them. She is learning to read and write, and she uses her knowledge to record events in this diary. There is one very serious problem. If Mas' Henley finds out Clotee can read and write, her life could be in danger. Slaves are not allowed this privilege, and if she is discovered, she is sure to suffer a severe beating and possibly worse. She has heard of slaves caught reading who have been sold into the deep south, where life can be even more terrible for them. A new tutor is hired to teach the children, and Clotee begins to suspect that he might not be exactly who he says he is. When she realizes he knows her secret, she is terrified, but she discovers he isn't going to reveal what he knows. As her knowledge and vocabulary expand, she learns the mysterious tutor is an abolitionist, and he might even be involved in something she has heard about called the Underground Railroad. Part of the DEAR AMERICA series, A PICTURE OF FREEDOM by Patricia C. McKissack is about one young slave girl's experience as she lives as an orphan on a Virginia plantation at the mercy of an intolerant master. This work of historical fiction depicts life on the plantation and how the slaves struggled to retain their identity as they battled for simple survival. McKissack brings this challenging time to life for readers interested in learning more about a piece of our past.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books in the Dear America series! I knew about slavery, but i had never known much about the Underground Railroad. I felt like I was there with Clotee in those days. I admit, it did start out a little boring, but after I kept reading it I couldn't put it down. Anyone of any age should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I HAVE NEVER LIKED SOCIAL STUDIES CAUSE IT WAS SO BORING, BUT THIS BOOK SHOWED ME HOW INTERESTING IT CAN BE
Moirwen More than 1 year ago
This book was responsible for creating a monster. I received it as a Christmas present many years ago, and after reading it, developed an interest in history. I saved up my allowance money each week until I owned every book in the Dear America series. I highly recommend this and other books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great! I loves it. I have read it twice! It is a great way to find a new book AND learn more about slavery. In the back of the book, there is facts about America in that time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a great book. i had to do it for a project in my LA class. at first it was kind of boring but it better and even better as i read along! you should read this if you get the chance it says only ages 9 to 12 but i think it is great for anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed this book. It really gave me a since of what it must have been like as a slave. I also liked how the author made this story uplifting and all, when instead she could have made it very depressing. I like Clotee's charcter: a determened girl who wants to end freedom. She is smart and resourceful. Though it is in diary form it does have a plot, which is hard to do when writing this style especially about history. I would say that Mrs. McKissack has done a very good job with this book, and would recomend for grades 4-8.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a class asignment.best book ever.why did they have slaves.it was humans you know.fyi.clotee hanley was real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just got done reading the part about "Uncle Heb" poor poor uncle Heb!!! Master Henleys like i didnt kill him, he just died after i wacked him with my gun!! Lol:);) seems likea verygood book especailly when they get a tutor for their son!! Read the book and you'll know what im talking about! Oh yeah, and theyhave the part with the kid and the horse,so sad! BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! It is one of the best Dear America book that I have ever read and you should definatlly buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book showed me the true hardships of slavery. Clotee was still a person, and she went through horrible stuff. I got my grandma and my mom to read it. I recomend this to anyone who will understand it. A must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clotee, a slave girl in 1859, lives on Belmont Plantation in Virginia. She has learned to read and write fanning while her mistress, Miz Lilly, teaches her son William lessons. Clotee hides her diary in various places on the plantation. Even though this book only really records daily activities, I love it. It incorporates other aspects of slavery such as slaves trying to run away and the Underground Railroad. You should really read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love that book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But it is sad when william cant wakk again and especially when uncle heb dies. Slavery is so wrong! They treat them like dirt! The statehouse in my state had\s a confedeate flag and that can be insulting! I stongly believe that slavery is wrong and everyone should agree with me. Infact, i think more light skinned peaple should read more books about how dark skinned peaple felt. I like two read about sad times so i read about how bad it was for them. I sort of wish i was back then so that i could stand up for them. I feel really bad i hope my ancestirs werent slave keepers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slavery is inhuman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss hand thtee times post on three other books and look under pillow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why was slavery even allowed,i mean we should be all treated equal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to read this for a historical fiction project for school, and it is a GREAT book. Why was slavery even allowed?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just sarted but so good!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book at school and i loved it. It didn't work on my nook though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clotee Henley is a slave at Belmont Plantation. This book tells about her life working for her masters and learning at the same time. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best dear america book ever. I loved the dear america a picture to freedom movie at my school. It was so far like the book (really it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Maranna More than 1 year ago
This is a good book I over all thought. This book is about a slave girl named Clotee. Who wrote a diary as a slave and one of her first words she leaned to write was “freedom.” She can’t tell anyone but her best friend Spicy. In the book she works at mainly fanning Miz Lilly and William when it is hot out. Miz Lilly and William are her owners. As her and Spicy want to escape, they ask their Aunt Tee how. She says the under ground railroad is the way. I over all thought is book was 5 stars. I would recommend this to anyone. One reason I would is because this book is very exciting. For example you never know what will happen next. I would also would recommend this because it teaches you how she really felt as being a slave and all she wanted was freedom. My reason for that is she taught her self to write freedom. My last reason is because this book you will enjoy and educational. For example my favorite part was when Spicy came to town and Clotee had a friend. I give this book defiantly 5 stars.