10.06 Mary Downing Hahn Promises to the Dead

ISBN 13: 9780547258386

Promises to the Dead

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9780547258386: Promises to the Dead

When Jesse went down to the marsh on that fateful day, he expected to find a turtle for terrapin soup. Instead, he comes across a dying slave woman who makes Jesse promise he’ll take her young son, Perry, to a relative in Baltimore. Aiding and abetting a slave is against the law, and it also goes against everything Jesse has been taught to believe. But he can’t break a promise to the dead, and, more important, he has to follow what he knows in his heart to be right. The journey is more treacherous than Jesse ever imagined. At the crossroads of a country about to plunge into civil war, danger lurks around every corner. Will these boys on the run ever find a safe haven? Includes an author's note.

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About the Author:

MARY DOWNING HAHN, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar. Visit her online at www.marydowninghahnbooks.com.

From Publishers Weekly:

Hahn's (Anna All Year Round) historical novel, set in a divided Maryland at the beginning of the Civil War, portrays an unconvincing tale of escape from slavery. The story begins with a tenuous premise: 12-year-old narrator Jesse stumbles on a desperate pregnant runaway captive (whom Jesse recognizes), Lydia, and her young son, Perry, fathered by her recently deceased master, Peregrine Baxter. She holds Jesse at knifepoint ("She'd just as soon kill you as look at you," Perry tells Jesse), yet as the woman is dying from childbirth, Jesse promises her that he'll deliver Perry to Peregrine Baxter's sister in Baltimore (though readers will question whether he'd find a welcome reception). While readers may suspend disbelief regarding Jesse's risk taking, they may not take the leap of faith that captives with even more to lose would help them so freely. For example, during a riot inspired by the influx of Union soldiers in Baltimore (based on actual events), the "meanest and most determined slave-catcher in Talbot County" nabs Perry and knocks Jesse, with a pistol, on the head; Jesse faints in front of Judge Baxter's (Peregrine Baxter's father) residence, and the judge's staff secretly nurses him for weeks. The connection between Jesse and Perry is not fully developed, hence their relationship--as well as Jesse's Herculean efforts--seems hollow. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 190 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Jesse went down to the marsh on that fateful day, he expected to find a turtle for terrapin soup. Instead, he comes across a dying slave woman who makes Jesse promise he ll take her young son, Perry, to a relative in Baltimore. Aiding and abetting a slave is against the law, and it also goes against everything Jesse has been taught to believe. But he can t break a promise to the dead, and, more important, he has to follow what he knows in his heart to be right. The journey is more treacherous than Jesse ever imagined. At the crossroads of a country about to plunge into civil war, danger lurks around every corner. Will these boys on the run ever find a safe haven? Includes an author s note. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780547258386

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 190 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When Jesse went down to the marsh on that fateful day, he expected to find a turtle for terrapin soup. Instead, he comes across a dying slave woman who makes Jesse promise he ll take her young son, Perry, to a relative in Baltimore. Aiding and abetting a slave is against the law, and it also goes against everything Jesse has been taught to believe. But he can t break a promise to the dead, and, more important, he has to follow what he knows in his heart to be right. The journey is more treacherous than Jesse ever imagined. At the crossroads of a country about to plunge into civil war, danger lurks around every corner. Will these boys on the run ever find a safe haven? Includes an author s note. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780547258386

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