Liberty Street by Candice F. Ransom

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Synopsis

Kezia’s secret Sundays have the power to set her free.

I was born on wash day.
“Did you have to work that day?” I once asked Mama.
“Our people work every day, Kezia,” she said.


They must work all week except on Sunday afternoons, when Missus Grace’s slaves are free to travel through town and visit with friends. Glorious Sundays, when slaves throughout Fredericksburg walk along the dirt path they call Liberty Street, making small journeys that give them the only taste of freedom they can ever have.

Soon Sundays take on an even deeper meaning when Kezia joins a secret school to learn to read—even though it is forbidden to slaves. Meanwhile, Mama works frantically to earn extra money to buy Kezia’s freedom from Missus Grace before she is bonded out to another family far away.

Liberty Street is a moving story of courage and love, and a testament to those in the antebellum South who risked all in the name of knowledge and freedom.
 

About Candice F. Ransom

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Candice Ransom was born in Virginia in 1952. She grew up in the country and spent most of her time daydreaming, creating stories in her head once she'd read all the books in her school library. After writing her first book at age 7, she has gone on to write over 100 books for children and young adults. She has a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College and is earning a Masters in Children's Literature from Hollins University. Among her popular titles are The Big Green Pocketbook (1993), One Christmas Dawn (1996), The Promise Quilt (2002), and Liberty Street (2003). Her books have received numerous awards, including the Hodge Podge Society Best Children's Book; Pick of the List; Notable Trade Book in Social Studies; New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Book; New York Library Best One Hundred Book; IRA/Children's Choice; and ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers. Ransom is also a ghostwriter for the Boxcar Children Mysteries, having written 18 titles for the series. She has started the Promise Quilt Literacy Project, which gives books to the children of the Virginia Appalachians. Instead of donating to individuals or to school libraries, Ransom sends 30 new books to a classroom, choosing a different school each month and giving the teacher the option of keeping the books in the classroom or letting each child take one home. Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a child, his love for doodling and drawing was strongly encouraged by his mother. From his grandmother he inherited a love of music and from his father he developed a love of movies. Growing up in this setting, Eric says, "Becoming an artist was a natural choice for me. I have never thought of being anything else." http://www.ericvelasquez.com/
 
Published October 1, 2003 by Walker Childrens. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Liberty Street

Kirkus Reviews

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She and her mother and Old Zeus work “from candlelight to candlelight, day in and day out.” But each Sunday they have an afternoon off and they walk to town on a dirt path they have named Liberty Street.

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Publishers Weekly

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This layered illustrative approach, especially in the scenes when Kezia escapes to freedom, adds a you-are-there immediacy to a story that will likely interest young historians, but may not grab them by the heartstrings.

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