Libby and Caleb are helping their friend Jordan, as escaped slave, travel North to freedom. However, a slave trader, Riggs, is hot on their trail and is trying to gather evidence that Libby’s father is helping slaves to escape. Can Libby and Caleb help Jordan find his family and make it to freedom, or will Riggs snatch him back to a life of slavery?
I have to be honest. I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish this book. I kept picking it up to read and just couldn’t get into it. The description at the back of the book was interesting, and I have frequently enjoyed reading books of this genre in the past, but this one didn’t grab my interest at the beginning. However, about a third of the way through the book it really hooked my attention, and I didn’t have any trouble focusing on it to the end.
I like the way Johnson throws in historical facts, such as the Dred Scott decision, in the story of Jordan’s quest for freedom. In fact, Johnson displays great skill in taking a lot of different ideas and weaving them together in a way that is believable. For example, throughout the book, Libby is questioning the role that faith plays in the lives of people around her. Instead of one character answering all of her questions, Johnson uses several different characters in a variety of situations to answer Libby’s questions and guide her in discovering the truth.
Johnson also shares different snapshots of what life was like for people in this time period, such as immigrants. Libby befriends a young German girl and her family who are traveling by steamboat to Minnesota. However, they are very poor and have very little food to eat or a way to stay warm and the young girl becomes ill with cholera. I appreciated the realistic look into the life of an immigrant family.
Overall, despite the slow beginning, I enjoyed this book very much and am glad that I stuck with it. If you enjoy historical fiction from pre-Civil War era, you will probably enjoy this book. This book is considered juvenile fiction, so it would be perfect for younger readers to learn about issues such as slavery in an age-appropriate manner.
This book is book two in the Freedom Seekers series, but is also good as a stand-alone book without reading the other books in the series. However, I look forward to going back to read not only book one, but the other books as well. Check out the links below for more information about this book or the other books in this series.
I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.