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All Different Kinds of Free

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  973 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
A free woman of color in the 1830s, Margaret Morgan lived a life full of promise. One frigid night in Pennsylvania, that changed forever. They tore her family apart. They put her in chains. They never expected her to fight back.

In 1837, Margaret Morgan was kidnapped from her home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The state of Pennsylvania charged her kidnapper with t

Paperback, 274 pages
Published April 2nd 2011 by Bell Bridge Books
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Community Reviews

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Judith Starkston
Aug 19, 2013 Judith Starkston rated it it was amazing
Few books make me want to reach into history and grab events by the neck and throttle them. Few books make me cry so much my dog gets frantic to comfort me as I read. All Different Kinds of Free did both. Jessica McCann builds an emotionally engaging, heartbreaking story out of a fundamentally unfair situation in American history. A free Black woman, Margaret Morgan, and her three children are kidnapped in 1837 from their home in Pennsylvania and sold into slavery. The bits of information about ...more
Tara Chevrestt
This is a sad story. Books like this make me deeply ashamed of my country's history. The way people were treated...

Margaret Morgan is a free African American woman living in the mid 1800s. She has a husband, also free, and three children. An old lady under the influence of some cruel people claims that she still "owns" Margaret and her children. Margaret and the wee ones are abducted and forced back into a life a slavery.

Margaret is a very likable character and I admired her when she chose to t
Patrick Ross
Aug 29, 2013 Patrick Ross rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
As someone who has focused somewhat on the craft of writing historical nonfiction, I can only imagine how challenging it must be to write historical fiction. You must be true to history in order to lend your book authenticity, yet at the same time you must introduce a believable yet fictional story. And you must create full scenes complete with fabricated dialogue and action that must ring true.

Jessica McCann pulls this off in this novel set during a time in our history where slavery was illegal
Sandra Stiles
Jun 16, 2011 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
I love history. I am always amazed when an author can bring something new to the table to make me say, “wait a minute, I didn’t know anything about this piece of history”. It is this type of work that sends me to my computer to research the actual historical event. So it is with this book. I was unaware of the court case that was one of the biggest things to lead up to the Civil War. The author took a court case from 1842 and built her story around it. This is the story of Margaret Morgan who wa ...more
Jun 11, 2011 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I often hesitate when reading a book about slavery, especially slavery within the United States. This can be a very emotional subject for many of African-American descent. I wish I could say that All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann wasn't an emotionally-charged read, but it was . . . in a very good way. Ms. McCann provides a poignant bordering on tragic fictionalization of the life of Margaret Morgan and family.

Margaret was born to freed slaves of Mr. Ashmore and grew up free in Maryl
Holly Weiss
Riveting Historical Drama

The 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War approaches. Sound the trumpet for a novel where justice, personal liberty and self-reliance are celebrated by a writer who has the savvy to make her voice ring.

An obscure 1842 Supreme Court Case is the backdrop for this compelling book. All Different Kinds of Free, a historical fiction novel based on true events, is really the story of Margaret Morgan, a free woman of color from Pennsylvania who is abducted and so
Jun 27, 2011 Barb rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing trip into the days of pre civil-war slavery. Jessica McCann clearly illustrates what a priviledge freedom is and that we should never take it for granted. I was told by friends who read this that the shortly after startng the book, they were mad. I could completely relate. I was also told that they couldn't put the book down. I too, felt that way as the story took some unbelievable turns. I wanted to know more information on what happened to some of the other characters in th ...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Apr 01, 2011 Melissa Crytzer Fry rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this novel by historical fiction newcomer Jessica McCann. The story of Margaret Morgan, a free black woman forced back into the shackles of slavery – along with her free children – is both harrowing and uplifting. At its heart and soul is a message highlighting the supreme power of family love. The story, inspired by true events in the 1830s, also reminds us of the privilege of freedom, its beauty, and just how much is lost when freedom is rescinded.

McCann’s writing sings, pai
Apr 02, 2011 Uniflame rated it it was amazing
Margaret Morgan is married and lives happily with her husband and her three children. Margaret is a free woman of color in the 1830's, until a bounty hunter comes to collect her and her children to return her to her former owner in Maryland. Margaret tries to hold her family together and fights every step along the way. This is a book, based on a true story, about a remarkable woman who didn't give up.

Personal opinion:
I was drawn into this book after only a few chapters and it was almost impossi
Dec 11, 2011 Misfit rated it liked it
3.5 stars

"All rise. Harford County trial docket number fifty-three, the case of Negro Margaret vs. Margaret Ashmore, petition for freedom. The Honorable William T. Archer presiding on this day, Wednesday, August 28, 1837.”

All Different Kinds of Free is based on the story of Margaret Morgan and the case of Prigg v Pennsylvania. Margaret was a free woman, living in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children, until she and her children were kidnapped by bounty hunters and taken to Maryland to
Aug 18, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was as real as if I was there in all the terrifying situations this young mother had to experience. I did not want to put it down until I had finished. The picture the author painted for us of the characters were vivid. I look forward to other works by this creative author. I appreciate the research Jessica McCann did to make her story so historically significant. It was refreshing to see her insight and caring in dealing with multi-faceted relationships. This aut ...more
Cynthia Sillitoe
Mar 13, 2015 Cynthia Sillitoe rated it really liked it
Margaret, the main narrator of this book, has a rich, funny, warm voice that is almost spellbinding. I also enjoyed the scenes from Jerry's pov and those with Jim and Mrs. Ashmore. I wish the attorneys had been stronger characters. I have to admit I skimmed most of the trial scenes.
Amelia Adams
Feb 18, 2015 Amelia Adams rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The author's descriptive writing style flowed well and was thoroughly enjoyable. This book was exciting. The plot was full of twists but was reasonable. It aroused my interest and I just loved this book!
Candice Snow
Apr 15, 2014 Candice Snow rated it it was amazing
I have only ever cried while reading these 3 books:

1. The Host (Don't laugh. I only cried because one of the characters was a lovable elderly man dying of cancer who completely lost his mind during his last year of life. As a cancer survivor myself, anything that deals with dying cancer patients really gets me emotional.)

2. The Fault in Our Stars (Does this one need an explanation?)

3. This Book

All Different Kinds of Free is the story of a free black woman named Margret. One night she, and her ch
May 06, 2014 Diana rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book with a unique point of view. I loved Margaret and couldn't stop reading! All Different Kinds of Free is beautifully written and is based on a true story!

"I often marveled at how there can be ask different kinds of free. And yet...I suppose now I've learned there are all different kinds of bondage, too."
sharleen whitehead
Great story

I really enjoyed this story and characters. Seems to be a true life event. Many stories are similar, but this was very true to life.
Mar 09, 2014 RenishaRenewed rated it it was amazing
Absolutely incredible. Compared to Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings, which was also a great story of historical facts, this also took me on a ride. Loved it.
Apr 07, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
I loved this book it just ended too soon. I wanted the story to continue. I guess that is a sign of a great book.
Michelle Fayard
Aug 28, 2011 Michelle Fayard rated it it was amazing
Margaret Morgan is late returning from town, where she was purchasing supplies for her seamstressing business. When she reaches home, she hears two unexpected voices. One is the town constable. The other is the man who had been her neighbor in Maryland. It’s not a social call, for bounty hunger Ed Prigg accuses Margaret of being a runaway.

She and her three children are threatened with being sold into slavery—even though each of them is free. So opens Jessica McCann’s compelling and gripping debu
Hallie Sawyer
Mar 20, 2011 Hallie Sawyer rated it it was amazing
This historical fiction novel set in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and South Carolina in pre-Civil War 1800′s is Jessica’s first novel, It was the winner of the 2009 Freedom In Fiction contest and it was very apparent to me after reading it as to why she won.

Margaret Morgan is a free black woman, living a quiet life in Pennsylvania with her family when her life changes in one horrifying moment. Along with her children, she is kidnapped and sold into slavery, enduring the harshest of conditions while c
Sep 29, 2012 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
I downloaded 'All Different Kinds of Free' several months ago. The book was a free download I found it listed among many others on a freebie site. I finally got a chance to start the book on Thursady of this week and I just had to finish it straight through. The book was based around state's rights vs. federal rights in the 1800's.

The book is telling the story of Margaret Morgan and what she along with her family experience because of slavery and the laws that upheld them. The story offers a lo
Barb Klein
Nov 18, 2013 Barb Klein rated it it was amazing
I give five stars to “all different kinds of free”, written by Jessica McCann was a winner of the Freedom in Fiction Prize. One of my favorite authors, Sandra Dallas, said of this book: “…gripping…this book tears at your heart.”

I totally agree with her comment. This book tore a little piece of my heart each time I read about the degradation, hopelessness and total disregard for humanity that Margaret Morgan and her family experienced at the hands of “owners” and other persons who caused this wo
Starr Griggs
Sep 11, 2011 Starr Griggs rated it it was amazing
All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann
Bell Bridge Books – March 28, 2011
Facebook: no
Rating: Loved it and hated it
Recommendation: Personally I think everyone in the world should read this book to get a better idea of slavery and to have a real appreciation of freedom

Margaret Morgan was a black woman who lived in the 1830’s. Though her parents were slaves who were freed by their master, Margaret was born a free black. She enjoyed her freedom with her husband and three
Feb 09, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
This book was incredibly hard to read, and not due to the author's style. Any book that attempts to accurately depict the horrors of slavery and the atrocious behavior of those that supported slavery are always uncomfortable to read. The author did a great job of fleshing out the characters to make me care about what happened to them.

This book had me cringing and crying as I read. Would recommend this as a must read.
Carol E.
Dec 18, 2013 Carol E. rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Excellent story. The book is fiction based on a few true events. A court case, Prigg vs. State of Pennsylvania, really happened, and the name of the main character, Margaret Morgan, was the real woman whose life was greatly affected by the actions of Prigg and the ensuing court decisions.

My advice is to not read the summary/review that accompanies the book picture here at Goodreads. It gives away too much. I hate it when the entire plot and any surprise therein is revealed in reviews. So I am no
Erika Robuck
Mar 25, 2011 Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing
ADKF is the story of how the comfortable life of free woman of color, Margaret Morgan, is irrevocably altered when the widow of her former owner sends a bounty hunter to reclaim her and her children as property to be sent to auction. What follows is a series of horrific events that crush and destroy a family, but never the spirit of the courageous, honorable, and remarkable Margaret.

I had never heard Margaret Morgan’s story or the landmark case of Prigg vs. Pennsylvania that contributed to the r
Apr 20, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing
If you are a regular reader, you know my taste in literature tends toward escapist--light, fluffy and feel-good. This book is anything but light, fluffy and feel-good. The ending is hopeful, but not artificially happy. It is the story of the evil of slavery through the eyes of a woman born free, a woman whose life, while not luxurious, was happy and prosperous. It is the story of a women who would not allow her soul to be enslaved.

All Different Kinds Of Free is a beautifully written book I do n
Apr 10, 2011 Mandy rated it it was amazing
Jessica McMann weaves a beautifully sad and touching story around the known facts about Margaret Morgan, whose story prompted Prigg vs. Pennsylvania and began the fight concerning states rights that would later lead to the civil war in her book, All Different Kinds Of Free. The story follows Margaret, a free black woman, who is kidnapped by a bounty hunter, along with her children. The book is beautifully written, pulling the reader in so that they may feel what Maragaret did as she has everythi ...more
Adrienne King
Apr 15, 2016 Adrienne King rated it really liked it
I wish I could add a half star, because I really wanted to give this book a 4.5. This book was both easy and difficult to read. It was easy because it was simple to was difficult because there were parts that were so unbelievably sad. I cannot believe that this actually happened to people not that long ago. I cannot believe that there was a time in our history that we yanked children from their mothers and sold them the same as cattle. I cannot believe that a race of HUMANS was used ...more
I had never heard of the case this book was based upon, but it was another of the horrible Supreme Court decisions that were so blatantly unfair and unconstitutional that they were major contributors to the Civil War. Every time I read books about slaves and slavery, it breaks my heart and makes me wonder how human beings could treat other human beings as if they were animals. This book is beautifully written and touches the emotions so deeply that the reader feels as if they are being sold at a ...more
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Thank you for visiting me on Goodreads! I'm the author of the novel All Different Kinds of Free and a professional freelance writer. My creative nonfiction and reporting have been published in Business Week, Phoenix, Raising Arizona Kids and The Writer magazines, among others.

Reading and writing historical fiction is my passion, though I'm also drawn to memoirs, contemporary fiction, nonfiction, l
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