Children's Literature - Sue ReichardBiddy Mason was born a slave in Georgia in 1818. She won her freedom in the 1850's and traveled to Los Angeles to make a new life for herself and her three daughters. Biddy's life was not like that of most other slaves. She spent her life helping others as a skilled nurse and healer. In doing so she became one of the richest women in Southern California. Even though Biddy could not read or write, her story is taken from the journals of those people who knew her and traveled with her. Her story is one of inspiration and courage.
School Library JournalGr 4-6-The story of a former slave who became one the richest women in Southern California. The book begins with an introduction that explains how the story of Mason's life was preserved through the journals of people traveling with her. It concludes with a list of other books related to slavery and black women, as well as Web sites about the subject's life and contributions. Mason was born into slavery in 1818 in the South, but traveled with her master's family, who converted to the Mormon faith, to Utah. Later, when the family moved to California, Mason finally gained her freedom and became a landowner. She also worked as a nurse and cared for many people who otherwise could not afford medical care. This biography, while written in narrative form with the use of dialogue, is informative and straightforward. Full-page black-and-white drawings of average quality are scattered throughout. An inspirational book about a woman usually overlooked in biographies for this age group.-Susan Knell, Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, KS Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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