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Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson

The Story

Synopsis of Freewater from the Publisher:

Debut author Amina Luqman Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.

After an entire young life of enslavement, twelve-year-old Homer escapes Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, leaving his beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the recesses of the swamp.

In this new, free society made up of escaped slaves and some born-free children, Homer cautiously embraces a set of spirited friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he hatches a plan to return to Southerland plantation, overcome his own cautious nature, and free his mother from enslavement. Loosely based on a little-mined but important piece of history, this is an inspiring and deeply empowering story of survival, love, and courage.

My Review: Freewater

Freewater is an extraordinary piece of writing.

Debut author Amina Luqman-Dawson’s story is one that shines bright in the resistance of enslaved people and shares a neglected part of American history with young readers. And her well researched fiction gives readers a landscape of Sothern swamps and those who fled for its safety. She paints these scenes in bright, bold, and vibrant colors filling it with indelible characters readers will root for and remember.

And the characters will have young readers fully engaged. Each character leaps off the page fully formed. Having a unique voice, as well as an inner strength and drive to take risks, even when they are scary. The changing points of view added to the richness of the story telling, moving from one character to the other, in tandem with the pulsing beat of the story.

Balancing truths and the realities of enslavement with hope and courage, Luqman-Dawson eloquently crafts prose that at times have these intense moments, yet conveys a powerful message about courage, the bonds of family, and the will to survive.

A must read.

One Last Thought

For those craving to learn more about the real place Luqman-Dawson writes about, visit her website for videos and articles that give more information about these historical havens in America.

The Great Dismal Swamp

Happy Reading ~ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Publication Details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupSource & FormatReview Posted Online
1-Feb-22978-0316056618416Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersMiddle GradeNetGalley, Digital ARCFebruary 2, 2022

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I’m Cecelia and I’m so glad you’re here! You’ll find honest reviews, book recommendations, along with other bookish essentials. So happy you stopped by!

– C

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