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FREEDOM STONE by Jeffrey Kluger


by Jeffrey Kluger

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25214-3
Publisher: Philomel

Thirteen-year-old Lillie has lived her whole life in slavery on the Greenfog plantation in South Carolina. Her father joined the Confederate Army with the promise of freedom for himself and his family, but when he was killed at the Battle of Vicksburg and a bag of gold was found on him, he was labeled a thief and the promise of freedom was broken. With the help of Bett, an old Ibo charm worker who can bend time with her bread baking, Lillie plans to travel back to the battle and find the truth in order to free her family. The novel is strongest in its depiction of slavery and the idea of one old slave’s acts of quiet dissidence, but the central premise of magical bread and time travel, besides being ponderously developed, is a silly contrivance, insulting to the reality of slavery and the millions who had no magic to ease the anguish of their daily existence. Young readers will feel for Lillie and not be comforted by hope in magical African stones and bread baking. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 9-13)