The Black Bonnet

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9781881535225: The Black Bonnet

As they near the end of their journey to freedom along the underground railroad, twelve-year-old Charity and her sixteen-year-old sister Bea encounter additional perils

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up. Charity and her older sister, Bea, are near the end of their journey along the Underground Railroad from Virginia to Montreal. They settle in at a "station" in Burlington, Vermont, to recover their health and to prepare for the last leg of their trip. As readers are drawn into the story, it is revealed that Charity's father is a plantation owner and that Bea is expecting the child of another white farmer. The young women make friends among the conductors' families and their fellow runaways. Burlington is crawling with slave hunters, and danger is imminent. Charity, because she is so light-skinned, goes into town wearing a black bonnet that ostensibly provides enough protection to allow her to "pass" as white. Bryant cleverly weaves real-life railroad conductors, such as Lucius Bigelow and Edward Peck, into the narrative, as well as famous escaped slaves, such as Harriet Tubman. Although the novel is suspenseful, some youngsters may have difficulty with the graphic descriptions of violence, some of which seems forced; the unrealistic plot elements; and the tension that arises from Charity's unnecessary adventures into "white" society. It is disturbing and preposterous that a fair-skinned former slave would parade through the streets directly in front of mercenary slave catchers.?Lucinda Lockwood, Thomas Haney Secondary School, Maple Ridge, BC
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

A brilliant novel for young adults, but also one that would appeal to readers of all ages and background, The Black Bonnet reveals the hidden history of the underground railroad, the shadowy trail of hope that fugitive slaves followed to freedom. In the late 1850s, twelve-year-old Charity escapes from a Virginia plantation with her older sister Bea. Their perilous journey north is bewildering and exhausting, a blur of cellars and barns, travel by moonlight, and biting cold. The have far to go each night and the people they can trust are few. Arriving in Canada, Charity steps out of her life as a fugitive and glimpses the freedom and adventure she has yearned for. She is also able to see all sides of the underground railroad for the first time (fugitives, conductors, slave hunters, the free white society). She finds her assumptions about slavery and life on the plantation turned upside down. Suddenly pulled between two worlds, one black and one white, Charity must confront a past she never really understood even as she fights to keep her dreams of freedom from slipping away. The Black Bonnet is complex tapestry of good and evil, altruism and greed, desperation and hope. It is a fascinating and poignant chapter of American history, historically accurate, unflinching, suspenseful, and a truly compelling story. The Black Bonnet is terrific, memorable reading! -- Midwest Book Review

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Louella Bryant
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Book Description New England Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. As they near the end of their journey to freedom along the underground railroad, twelve-year-old Charity and her sixteen-year-old sister Bea encounter additional perils. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9781881535225

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Book Description New England Press, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. As they near the end of their journey to freedom along the underground railroad, twelve-year-old Charity and her sixteen-year-old sister Bea encounter additional perils. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9781881535225

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