Soon Be Free by Lois Ruby

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I ask you, why do weird things always happen to me?

Thirteen-year-old Dana Shannon is no stranger to intrigue. Not long ago she discovered a skeleton behind a wall in her family's house -- a house in Lawrence, Kansas, that was once owned by a Quaker family, the Weavers. The diary Dana found in the sealed-off room revealed that the skeleton belonged to a runaway slave named Lizbeth Charles.

Now Dana's house is a newly refurbished bed-and-breakfast, and the first guests are two shady characters who believed the house is hiding another secret. When Dana gets in their way, she becomes embroiled in a second mystery, this one involving slaves and the Weavers again, and -- somehow - Delaware Indians.

As Dana tried to fit the puzzle pieces together, alternate chapters tell the story of James Baylor Weaver, a thirteen-year-old boy, in 1857. It is up to James to fulfill a promise Lizbeth made before her death. He must travel hundreds of miles to retrieve four slaves and bring them to freedom. The journey will test his strength, endurance, and courage; it will also test his character, when he has to make a terrible choice...

Readers of Soon Be Free will quickly be caught up in this fast-paced mystery-adventure that links teenagers from two different centuries.


About Lois Ruby

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Lois Ruby is the author of several novels, including Steal Away Home, which was named an IRA Young Adults' Choice and a Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies (NCSS/CBC). Before she turned to writing, she was a young adult librarian for the Dallas Public Library. In her spare time she serves on the board of Inter-Faith Inn, a homeless shelter in Wichita, Kansas, and sometimes teaches minicourses to seventh and eighth graders. "The place I feel most comfortable," she says, "is among teenagers, laughing." The mother of three sons, she lives in Wichita with her husband, Thomas.
Published August 1, 2000 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. 320 pages
Genres: History, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Soon Be Free

Kirkus Reviews

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Ruby drafts her main characters, James and Dana, with care and depth, but a number of peripheral characters are mere tracings.

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Publishers Weekly

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A companion to Steal Away Home, this book alternates between a present-day mystery set in a bed-and-breakfast and a historical adventure about a 13-year-old-boy who aids four runaway slaves in 1857.

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