The Spirit and Gilly Bucket

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9780374316778: The Spirit and Gilly Bucket
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A pre-Civil War novel featuring an indomitable heroine

Not long after her pa goes off to look for gold, Gilly Bucket is transplanted from Missouri to Virginia, to the home of her late mother's sister. Gilly is bewildered by the fancy formality of life at Glencaren, and by the use of slaves to make it possible.
She knows her uncle needs help to run the huge farm, and her aunt to manage the household, especially with cousin Sarah's wedding approaching. But Pa taught her that slavery is wrong.

Although her aunt and uncle don't seem to take to the opinionated, irrepressible Gilly, Sarah is kind, and seven-year-old cousin Neddy is delighted by Gilly's wild stories. Still, it's the slave girl Rissy who saves Gilly from loneliness. Together, the girls learn about the underground railroad, and about the mysterious person, called the Spirit, who helps operate the system that frees slaves. Together, they begin Rissy's journey
to freedom.

This second novel by Maurine F. Dahlberg is an exciting story about the time when the United States of America was hardly united, as seen by an irresistible eleven-year-old whose enthusiasm and confidence may be her greatest liability.

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About the Author:

Maurine F. Dahlberg is the author of Play to the Angel, "unforgettable writing from a first novelist" (Kirkus Reviews). She lives in Oak Hill, Virginia.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7-This thematically rich, fully developed story deals with friendship, trust, courage, and familial love in the years just prior to the Civil War. When Gilly Bucket's pa leaves Missouri to pan for gold in Colorado, the 11-year-old is forced to stay with her late mother's sister and family in Virginia. Glencaren's fine atmosphere is at first overwhelming to her, and her uncle's use of slaves on his farm is unsettling. She soon grows weary of her aunt's oppressive, overbearing personality; and she yearns to join her father. Her comforts are her friendships with her two cousins and with Rissy, a slave who longs to be reunited with her own father. Gilly is a morally strong individual, unafraid to voice her antislavery opinions even though she is punished by her uncle. Her views are nicely juxtaposed against those of a neighbor who lacks moral integrity, and whips and beats his slaves. Secondary characters are believable, too, especially Rissy, who represents freedom and hope. Gilly's stormy relationship with Aunt Laura evolves into a loving one by novel's end when the girl discovers that her aunt is a "Spirit" who assists runaways. In a satisfying conclusion, Rissy escapes through the Underground Railroad and Gilly is on her way to meet her father.
Janet Gillen, Great Neck Public Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Dahlberg, Maurine F.
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux, Gordonsville, Virginia, U. S. A. (2002)
ISBN 10: 0374316775 ISBN 13: 9780374316778
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Book Description Farrar Straus & Giroux, Gordonsville, Virginia, U. S. A., 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Third Printing. This is a moving story for pre-teens and teenagers, about an 11-year-old girl. In 1859, when Gilly's father goes to search for gold in the Rocky Mountains, the 11-year-old is sent to stay with her aunt and uncle in Virginia, where she befriends one of her uncle's slave girls. Through this friendship, she finds out about the Underground Railroad, and discovers that people are not always exactly as they seem. 234 pages. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 002604

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