Unlike his older brothers, thirteen-year-old Everett was "born in freedom," never knowing life as a slave. His most prized possession is the medal his father earned in the Civil War. Now, more than 125 years later, that treasure is kept in the Websters' attic with other "scraps of time," ready to be discovered by another generation eager to know its family history. The second novel in Patricia C. McKissack's family saga recounts a young Southern boy's dream of heading west to a new life and the way in which his journey teaches him the deeper meaning of the medal his father won.
About the Author: Patricia C. McKissack lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Gordon C. James lives in Washington, D.C.
Gr 3-4-The second in the series, this book begins as the Webster children investigate their grandmother's attic. A memento there leads to the story of their ancestor, Everett Turner. Following the Civil War, he was the first of his family to be born into freedom, and the first to be educated. As his story begins, Everett has stowed away on a riverboat headed to St. Louis. He's seen a pamphlet about free land in the West that has him dreaming of his own place. Fortunately, Everett falls in with good people in St. Louis. He learns to work with horses and joins a group of former slaves headed for Nicodemus, KS. The story ends as the group begins the trip to Kansas City. The cover art with a boy on a bucking horse will draw many readers. They'll find a rewarding tale that highlights a lesser-known aspect of America's pioneer story. McKissack deftly weaves in details of the time, including Buffalo soldiers, the role of the church, and the rise of the Klan. This book is just right for beginning chapter book readers who enjoyed Barbara Brenner's Wagon Wheels (HarperCollins, 1978) and are ready for more.-Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.