Friday, January 6, 2012

Steal Away. . . to freedom by Jennifer Armstrong

The book begins with a letter to someone called "Free."  It is sent in 1928 from a hospital in the Philippines.
Go to the Pioneer Library and use the World Book to find out about the Philippines.

The page right after the letter says that the book will be an account (story) of a journey made by Susannah McKnight Emmons 
and Bethlehem Reid.
It says there are notes by Mary Emmons, who is also the person who wrote the letter on the pages before it.

The first chapter begins in 1896.
The narrator is from New York City.  She has a dear friend named Amy Van Tassel.
The narrator is 13 years old. 
Her grandmother, whom she calls Gran lives with them.
The grandmother announces she's received a letter from Bethlehem.  Could that be the Bethlehem Reid who stole away to freedom?
Bethlehem is in Toronto, Canada, so Gran is going there and wants to take Mary.
Gran says that Bethlehem "thinks we should write it all down before she gets much worse."

Mary's mother comments that Bethlehem is "an old slave."  That makes Gran mad.

Mary says she helped Gran and Bethlehem write their story down.  She says she found out that "Bethlehem was no longer in bondage, but that she truly never had been."

writes a letter
granddaughter to Susannah


grandmother to Mary
born in Vermont
sent to Virginia with an uncle after her parents died (She was 13.)

p. 14 given to Susannah as a slave
friend to Susannah

Susannah's uncle
p. 8 a minister --
relentless, stern, sparing of words
p. 10 a man to instruct, not to converse
Susannah's uncle
lives in Virginia, owns 10 slaves p. 9


Susannah's cousin -- a sharpness to her voice p. 12
14 years old

Aunt Reid

Susannah's aunt


Susannah's cousin

Topics: slavery, abolition,