Welcome back to another week here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....the place that would love nothing more than to get lost in the stacks for hours and hours and hours and hours and....well, you get the picture. ^_^
Today kicks off a week of bookish busyness that is sure to last all week long...no really. I've got something lined up for each day of the week so hold on to your wish lists and be sure to have a pen at the ready. Okay? Okay! So, to start the festivities on the right note, we're joining a blog tour already in progress from the folks at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. (Hi Amy! ) The star of the show is a Children's Historical Fiction title that transports us to a volatile time in American History. It brings to life an important time that helped change the mindsets of some and the futures for many. Ladies and gents, today's book of choice is...
About the book....
Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad, where high-pitched screams echo each night. David’s cruel Pa always chooses the same victim. Despite the circumstances during slavery, David uncovers the courage to defy his Pa.
Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David attempts to lead Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.
Okay, so the synopsis above does a great job in describing the story but it doesn't convey the intensity of the read you're embarking on. For a book intended for 8-12 year olds, I was a tad surprised...not in the offended sense, just in the reality of what's presented. The author isn't explicit but they do not sugar coat the threat of abuse hanging over David's head, the daily beatings that Jenkins has to endure, or the lack of happy endings found for anyone discovered to be assisting those viewed as property to escape. In a little over 20 pages, we meet David, watch as he nurtures a friendship of sorts with Jenkins, see him discover his inner strength and put his good intentions into actions that saves the life of one, and assumedly many more if David's story was to continue. That's a lot of story, a lot of knowledge and a lot of emotion in a few pages. Well done indeed.
In conclusion, my verdict lies in the camp of the fans. I'm not a huge history buff but I did delve into this time period for a high school project once upon a time and feel quite strongly about the slavery issue. I appreciate the light shed by the author in a realistic and mostly age appropriate way...especially when you consider the FREE Educator Guides available to explore the topic further. If you're looking for a book to help explain the events that transpired during this time in history or to satisfy curious minds on the topic, this is definitely a book to put on your "to read" list.
About the author...
Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, A Sandy Grave ~ Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, The Golden Pathway ~ Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books.
Her interest in ocean life resulted in writing and publishing A Sandy Grave (January 2014). Other books by McDine, Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010). A fifth book is in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
For more information please visit Donna McDine’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Review copy received courtesy of Amy at Historical Fiction Book Tours. (THANKS!) For more information on THIS TOUR as well as those forthcoming, be sure to stop by their official site. This title is available now from Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!