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Twelve-year-old Ann Maria Weems works from sunup to sundown, wraps rags around her feet in the winter, and must do whatever her master or mistress orders--but she has something that many plantation slaves don't have. She has her wonderful family around her. To Ann, her teasing brothers, her older sister, and her protective and loving parents are everything. And then one day, they are gone.
Separated from her family by her master and shipped off as a housemaid, Ann learns something about independence and about love before the opportunity for escape arrives. A white man risks his life for Ann, cuts her hair short, dresses her like a boy, and launches her on her journey on the Underground Railroad to Canada, her family, and finally to freedom.
Until she was a teenager, Ann Maria Weems lived in the mid-1800s near the author's home in Maryland. This fictionalized account of her extraordinary life is ideal for students, teachers, and parents hungry for interesting and informative reading in African-American history and the Underground Railroad.
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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 lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0679893075
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0679893075
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110679893075