Inspired by a true story, this is the riveting novel of a young slave girl's harrowing escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. The moment Ann Maria Weems was born, her freedom was stolen from her. Like her family and the other slaves on the farm, Ann works from sunup to sundown and obeys the orders of her master. Then one day, Ann's family--the only joy she knows--is gone. Just twelve years old, Ann is overcome by grief, struggling to get through each day. And her only hope of stealing back her freedom and finding her family lies in a perilous journey: the Underground Railroad. Ann Maria Weems was an actual slave who lived in the mid-1800s near the author's home in Maryland.
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"'Papa, is that bad, what Uncle Abram tried to do--steal his freedom like that?' Ann asked.
Her father stopped and stared at her. 'He wasn't stealing anything that wasn't rightfully his,' he said very softly. 'Anyone born a slave gets their freedom stolen the day they're born.'"
Ann Maria Weems was a slave who lived in Maryland in the mid-1800s, and in the engaging, suspenseful novel Stealing Freedom, Elisa Carbone tells her story. As she wrote, Carbone painstakingly pieced Ann's experiences together with old newspaper articles; letters found in boxes in Philadelphia and Ohio; and material culled from rare books, census and land records, wills, and graveyards. She read thousands of pages of slave narratives, and recorded the emotion she heard in these men and women's voices in her own work. The resulting novel--powerful, vivid, and a tale well told--is, according to the author, a combination of what really happened and what could have happened. Every character in her book is based on someone who lived during the 19th century.
The story begins in 1853 at the Price farm in Unity, Maryland, where the Weems family lives and works. Though 10-year-old Ann works from sunup to sundown in often harsh conditions, her life is not an unhappy one, as she is surrounded by a loving family. But the reality of slavery is ever present. When the Prices begin to sell Ann's family off, person by person, her father (a free slave) vows that if the family can't be together in slavery, they will be together in freedom. Finally, only 12-year-old Ann is left on the farm, and young readers will be moved by her courageous journey--from her dramatic escape with a white abolitionist, to her travels on the Underground Railroad, to her heart-wrenching reunion with her family in Canada. (Ages 11 and older) --Karin SnelsonAbout the Author:
Elisa Carbone, a multi-award-winning author of novels for children and young adults, devotes much time to researching the historical facts that are the basis for her novels. Her passion for North Carolina's Outer Banks, which is the setting for her novel Storm Warriors, began with windsurfing and increased when she learned about the fascinating history of the Outer Banks. Her love of history is also evident in Stealing Freedom, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed novel Starting School with an Enemy.
Robin Miles, also known as Violet Grey, is an accent specialist and award-winning narrator of over two hundred audiobooks. She was named the 2008 Best Voice in Fiction & Classics for The Pirate's Daughter and 2008 Best Voice in Biography & History for Brother, I'm Dying.
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