Taking Liberty by Ann Rinaldi
The Story of Oney Judge, George Washington's Runaway Slave

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Synopsis

When I was four and my daddy left, I cried, but I understood. He had become part of the Gone.

Oney Judge is a slave. But on the plantation of Mount Vernon, the beautiful home of George and Martha Washington, she is not called a slave. She is referred to as a servant, and a house servant at that -- a position of influence and respect. When she rises to the position of personal servant to Martha Washington, her status among the household staff -- black or white -- is second to none. She is Lady Washington's closest confidante and for all intents and purposes, a member of the family -- or so she thinks.
Slowly, Oney's perception of her life with the Washingtons begins to crack as she realizes the truth: No matter what it's called, it's still slavery and she's still a slave.
Oney must make a choice. Does she stay where she is -- comfortable, with this family that has loved her and nourished her and owned her since the day she was born? Or does she take her liberty -- her life -- into her own hands, and like her father, become one of the Gone?
Told with immense power and compassion, Taking Liberty is the extraordinary true story of one young woman's struggle to take what is rightfully hers.
 

About Ann Rinaldi

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ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history to life. A self-made writer and a newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, she lives in central New Jersey.
 
Published May 8, 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 272 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Her mother has told her to run, but Oney says, “Why would I want to be free, wandering on the howling cold streets, wondering where I would work and live?” Fascinating and well-written, this weaves in much history: the Revolution, George Washington’s conflicted views of slavery, plantation life, ...

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Publishers Weekly

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In this swiftly paced historical novel, Rinaldi (Girl in Blue) chronicles the life of Oney Judge, favorite "servant (they were never called slaves)" to Lady Martha Washington.

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