A wonderfully atmospheric historical novel based on the story of the first African American female poet and a perfect introduction to the subject of slavery. This title is part of Walker Books’ 'New Voices' campaign which throughout 2008 is showcasing some of the brightest new storytelling talents in children’s literature.
A moving historical novel based on the story of Phillis Wheatley - the first African American female poet.The intriguing and moving story of a young girl kidnapped from her home in Senegal and sold, in 1761, as a slave to the wealthy Wheatley family of Boston. Phillis Wheatley - as she comes to be known - has a keen intelligence and a knack for learning. When the family discover her gift for writing poetry, they begin to mould her future by having her ''perform'' for influential guests. Eventually she is sent to England, where her work is finally published - the first book of poetry by an African American woman. However, all the trappings of success do nothing to change the fact that she is still a slave.
Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh is nanny to John and Abigail Adams' children and witnesses firsthand how tension builds in the feisty New England town in the two years before it erupts into the Boston Massacre. Friends become foes and families divide as British troops arrive in 1768 to force the outspoken Bostonians to toe the line and obey the British government. But the idea of liberty and self-government has taken hold, and once considered, cannot now be set aside. At the same time, Rachel begins to take stock of her own life and future, and learns that to live life to its fullest and with integrity, one must seek the truth for oneself and take a stand. Ann Rinaldi, a master at making history come alive, creates an exciting front-row seat for the listener as she uses the voice of young Rachel Marsh to underscore that American liberty was not easily won, but at great cost to those who would not let their dreams die.