BLACK ANGELS by Linda Beatrice Brown


Age Range: 12 & up
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Luke, 11, tries to run away from Massa Higsaw’s place to join Union soldiers but instead becomes the leader of two children even younger than himself: Daylily, another slave, and Caswell, the white child of a slave owner. The small band manages to avoid danger, taking refuge with a woman of mixed heritage who may be a spy for either side. Eventually, the three make their way to Harper’s Ferry, Daylily and Caswell finding a family to take them in while Luke follows his plan to join the Union. They vow to meet again at Betty Strong Foot’s cabin in the future. This is an unflinching look at how early childhood ended for children of slavery and the toll the Civil War took on all in its path. The pace of the story conveys the fear and urgency felt by the compelling central characters, and the coarse vernacular of the time contributes an air of authenticity. The transition to the future meeting, ten years hence, is somewhat abrupt, but it serves to provide a satisfying conclusion to the story. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-25030-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2009


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