Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Author: Amina Luqman-Dawson
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Black MC and characters
Recommended For…: middle grade readers, historical fiction, slavery, plantations
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Genre: MG Historical Fiction
Recommended Age: 12+ (slavery, violence, slight gore, scary moments, slight allusion to rape, romance, religion, child abuse, drug allusion, drug abuse allusion)
Explanation of CWs: The book discusses slavery, child abuse, and has scenes of running away from an overseer and allusions to drugs and drug abuse as well as rape to the mother character. There are some very scary moments in the book that might be upsetting to some readers. There is some very slight romance. There is also religion mentioned throughout the book.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: Under the cover of night, twelve-year-old Homer flees Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, unwillingly leaving their beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the swamp.
In this society created by formerly enslaved people and some freeborn children, Homer finds new friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he crafts a plan to find his mother and help his new home.
Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the South, this is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage.
Review: This was a good read. It is a deeply profound book about a child who is living and escapes from slavery. The book was wonderfully well paced and plotted. The book had amazing character development and world building. The book did well to explain slavery and some of the horrors that Black people saw during slavery to a young audience. I feel like this book should be part of a teaching curriculum to show younger children and lay the groundwork for further understanding of the enslavement period of the United States.
The only issue I really had with the book is that I thought it was hard to get into at first and that I needed the synopsis to fully understand what was happening in the book at first.
Verdict: It was well done! Highly recommend!
Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawnson
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: February 1, 2022
Debut author Amina Luqman Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.
After an entire young life of enslavement, twelve-year-old Homer escapes Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, leaving his beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the recesses of the swamp.
In this new, free society made up of escaped slaves and some born-free children, Homer cautiously embraces a set of spirited friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he hatches a plan to return to Southerland plantation, overcome his own cautious nature, and free his mother from enslavement. Loosely based on a little-mined but important piece of history, this is an inspiring and deeply empowering story of survival, love, and courage.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/freewater-amina-luqman-dawson/1139653631;jsessionid=38F20BC0500DFE7724324B1EB78EB6D1.prodny_store02-atgap18?ean=9780316056748&st=AFF&2sid=Hachette%20Book%20Group_8040641_NA&sourceId=AFFHachette%20Book%20Group
About the Author:
Amina Luqman Dawson is the author of the pictorial history book Images of America: African Americans of Petersburg (Arcadia Publishing). Her op-eds on race and popular culture have appeared in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more. She’s a proud mother of a 12-year-old son. Amina, her husband, and her son reside in Arlington, VA.
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