A twelve-year-old runaway slave is torn between desire for freedom and affection for the woman who has protected him, as the impending Battle of Sabine Pass threatens to engulf their part of Texas.
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Grade 5-8 The legendary Battle of Sabine Pass, Texas, in September 1863 is the basis for this novel. A 12-year-old slave named Boy jumps off a passing ship, determined to be free. Injured, he is taken in by a transplanted Yankee widow, Bethel Banks, who purchases him and renames him Muddy Boy Banks. Unknown to Muddy, she intends to free him; for his part, Muddy is resentful of his captivity, and yearns to be free like his new Cajun friend, Jo Bear. When the Yankees attack Sabine City, Muddy is confused; he wants the Yanks to win so his people will be free; yet he has grown fond of Mrs. Banks and his new white friends. Tolliver has written a terrific tale, from the humor of Muddy and Jo Bear baking bread to the pathos of Muddy's situation. Her characters spring to life: Muddy's resentment of his slavery and his confused loyalties are well portrayed, yet in terms easy enough for young readers to understand and sympathize with. The use of regional dialects works well, especially Jo Bear's fractured Cajun-English, which is rendered in an easily understood yet faithful style. Decorations focus on the small details of Muddy's lifesuch as seagulls, crabs, or Bethel's chickens. Because of its drab and unappealing cover, this outstanding telling of an episode of the Civil War that is often overlooked will need to be booktalked, but once introduced to it, readers won't be disappointed. Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Bt Bound, 1999. PBD. Book Condition: Brand New. 9.50x6.00x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0785773703