Redemption by Julie Chibbaro

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The wet earth smells of mushroom and loam. I race through the trees. Branches reach for my eyes and tangle my hair. My kirtle rips, but I still run, faster through the woodland, escaping the murderous men who chase behind me with vicious, barking dogs. The men are my enemies and the woodland is my friend. I climb a tree to its tip, to where the branches thin, and I see the dead bird there. Only its mouth is open and it is singing with the voice of my father. I touch the bird, and it flies away.

"I saw a bird dead once. I picture my father this way."

Twelve-year-old Lily has not seen her father for more than eight months. He was taken from her and her mother one night by the baron's men, forced against his will to leave England and to be part of a colony in the New World. And now Lily and her mother are in danger -- for the baron's men say they no longer have any right to their land. They also face persecution for being followers of Frere Lanther, a man who has been excommunicated by the church for wanting to purge it of its corrupt practices. Their one chance for safety and freedom is to take passage on the next ship out to the New World. Afraid her father is dead, hopeful that he might yet live, Lily and Frere Lanther persuade her mother to flee.

The harrowing voyage reveals painful secrets that strip Lily of her innocence. But Lily also makes a friend -- a boy named Ethan, son to none other than the baron himself, who is also onboard. Together Ethan and Lily navigate their way through betrayals and treachery in a strange new land. Separated from the group, lost in the wilderness, and captured by an Indian tribe, Lily must reach deep inside herself and tap into strength she never knew she had if she is to survive.

Richly imagined and beautifully written, Redemption is an epic adventure of family, growth, and love from a major new talent.

About Julie Chibbaro

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Julie Chibbaro grew up in New York City wondering how so many people could live together without infecting each other with mortal diseases.  After attending Performing Arts High School for theater, she ran away to Mexico, where she survived an earthquake and a motorcycle crash and learned a little something about death.  Returning to New York, she decided to create her own fictional characters instead of playing one.  Julie Chibbaro is the author of Redemption, which won the 2005 American Book Award.  Julie teaches fiction and creative writing in New York.  You can also visit her at
Published May 8, 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 282 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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Twelve-year-old Lily and her mother are forced off their English land by the baron's men.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Redemption

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