Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 (Dear America)” as Want to Read:
I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 (Dear America)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 (Dear America)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  3,823 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews

The two-time Coretta Scott King Honor Book recipient offers a poignant narrative about a freed slave girl during the Reconstruction Era in the South.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Scholastic (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Asteropê Yes, there are many towns in the South founded or settled by former slaves. Here are some articles and sites:

"Black towns, established by freed…more
Yes, there are many towns in the South founded or settled by former slaves. Here are some articles and sites:

"Black towns, established by freed slaves after the Civil War, are dying out" - https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...

"History’s Lost Black Towns" - http://www.theroot.com/photos/black_t...

"Black History Month: Former Slave Founded a Town" - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-ke...

"All-black towns across America: Life was hard but full of promise" - https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...

Etc. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Alex Farrand
I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy a Freed Girl is about a young African American girl, Patsy, who lived during the time when slavery was abolished after the Civil War.

The book was okay. I can see why I was attracted to reading this series when I was younger. The whole novel is written as a diary, and I felt like I was transported to the past. I would have felt like I got a glimpse of what actually went on during that time period. It is never too early to learn our history
...more
Kathy Davie
Jun 13, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, history
This chapter book is part of the Dear America series from Scholastic with a story based from the viewpoint of a young, recently freed slave girl in Mars Bluff, South Carolina, in 1865.

This tale is also a Coretta Scott King Honor book.

My Take
I just kept wanting to cry throughout this story, but I had to laugh as well, for Patsy had everyone fooled. Her own rebellion, and I'm with Patsy at the joke. It's also sad from a very personal standpoint as Patsy is both the least of the slaves, the most un
...more
Alexandra
Mar 08, 2016 Alexandra rated it really liked it
I've loved the Dear America books ever since I was in elementary school. my school library used to have a limit to how many books you could take out at a time (if I remember correctly, it was two) and I used to always rush over to the section where this series was kept and grab up any two I hadn't yet read. very recently I found a bunch of these books for sale at a used book sale and I bought a whole bunch and I am having a wonderful time re-reading them so far.

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and
...more
Amy
Mar 17, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a good story
I loved this book!!!!!! It was so great and it helped me view more of what the salves went though! Being black I loved to see what their view of life was.
Julianna
Oct 06, 2008 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction - Young & Old
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Being a lover of history and historical fiction, I've been very excited about trying out the Dear America series for quite some time. Since all the books are written by different authors, I'm not sure how they compare to this one, but I was very pleased with my first foray into the series. I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly chronicles the life of a freed slave girl a few months after emancipation was voted into law. I was pretty sure the book was a work of fiction, but
...more
Beverly
Feb 21, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
Patsy is another slave who has learned to read. Patsy is a stutterer and thought mentally deficient, but she is fluent when reading. The War is over, but slaves on Davis Plantation work like they always did.

Reconstruction has begun and the War Dept. has established the Freedman's Bureau to help break the chains of slavery. They visit plantations with slaves and tell masters that they now have to pay their slaves in cash or land, as well as feed, clothe, and house them. They have partnered up wit
...more
Mary JL
Nov 12, 2010 Mary JL rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone/good for children age 9 on up
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am familiar with the series
Patsy has been freed by the Civil War but life remains much the same on the plantation where she lives. Patsy has taught hereself to read and write (formal teaching of slaves was illegal) and she is writing down the story of her life.

Because she is shy and stammers when excited, most people around her think she is stupid. But Patsy starts to gain confidence as she can now teach the children their letters and to write simple words. When one of the older women complements her, she surprises hersel
...more
Drucilla
Nov 24, 2014 Drucilla rated it liked it
Shelves: dear-america
I think that this book is absolutely deserving of its Coretta Scott King Honor. I really liked the way the author contrasted Patsy's stammering and her writing and it was nice to read about the months following the end of the Civil War. It was interesting seeing how nobody had really been prepared for the end of slavery, not even the government.
Ashley
Sep 04, 2009 Ashley rated it liked it
I don't remember tons from this book, but I know I really liked it. I read it during my Dear America phase, and although nothing much from any of the actual stories stuck with my, this title, more than many others stands out as one I really enjoyed. I wish I remembered more from it. I'll probably reread it sometime soon...
Sarah Greene
Aug 20, 2012 Sarah Greene rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Dear America book. I love this series, and I relate to Patsy most of all. She has a stammer, and is always overlooked and spoken for, as I sometimes am with my own stutter. It holds her back from a lot of things she wants to say and do. This book really gives me hope.
 Alysha Mae : )
Jan 18, 2010 Alysha Mae : ) rated it it was amazing
This was the first Dear America series book I read. i was so amazed and at times horrified at the thought of how slaved lives went, how they got through each day. I know that this book isn't true it was just based on facts, but either way I was touched by this book.
Shawn
Oct 09, 2016 Shawn rated it it was amazing
My 9 year old and I listened to this we had a good discussion about slavery.
Meridith Moore
Mar 02, 2014 Meridith Moore rated it liked it
I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly by Joyce Hansen is a historical fiction piece written as the Diary of young Patsy, a freed slave from Mars Bluff, South Carolina. The book is just one in the Dear America Series, which allows readers to experience a point in history through the perspective of young slave child. Many students have never imagined what it would be like to not know their age, birthday, or if they were not allowed to read and write. I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly takes place ...more
Kyla
Dec 23, 2011 Kyla rated it it was ok
In I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly, Patsy is a enslaved girl working as a maid in the house of her Master and Mistress when she hears rumors from Cook and Ruth, other maids, that they may be freed. This wouldn't be ludicrious since someone burnt down the plantation jail and the whipping post. These suspicions were confirmed when a Yankee soldier gathers the maids and farm hands and tells them that though they are freed, they can't leave the plantation. If they are found roaming around like ...more
Rachel Otting
Patsy, a slave, works for her Mister and Missus like the rest of the slaves in the beginning of the book until slavery is ended. Many of Pasty's slave friends would leave the plantation and Patsy, she was afraid that no one from her family would come and get her. Pasty, being the only slave who could read and write, taught the rest of the slaves how to read and write. She left the plantation and became a school teacher since Sir and Ma'am would not sell parts of their land to their ex-slaves lik ...more
Samantha Applegate
This story in this book is in South Carolina during the time towards the end of slavery. It starts out where everyone is first slaves but then after the first chapter in the book slavery ends. There are many characters in the book and as the story continues each person and family has to decide whether they want to stay on the Davis Plantation or leave and start a new life of their own. Patsy who is the main character, doesn’t know who her mom or dad is but grows close with different people on th ...more
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
I Thought My Soul Would Fly (South Carolina) / 0-590-84913-1

Of all the Dear America books, I believe that this one is the most historically accurate, well-written account to date. I especially recommend this book as a superb insight into the plight of "ex"-slaves immediately following the Civil War; this fictional diary shows clearly that the "free" slaves were in many ways no more free than before.

The diary format is believable and well-written here; where the other Dear America books sometimes
...more
03jillianm
Nov 05, 2012 03jillianm rated it really liked it
Title of Book: I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly

Author: Joyce Hansen


Summary:
Could you imagine being a slave girl that is trying to set herself free? In the year of 1865 in Mars Bluff, South Carolina a girl named Patsy is a slave girl who is trying to get free. She wants to be able to get put out of her misery of hard labor and getting yelled at for making even a little mistake. Patsy works all day be washing and ironing the clothes. Patsy doesn’t realize how hard it can be to leave and isn’t
...more
Kaite Janicki
Dec 04, 2013 Kaite Janicki rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Kaite by: my cousin
I Thought My Soul Would Rise And Fly

By: Joyce Hansen

Review By: Kaite Janicki


This book was really inspirational, It taught me many things. Such as never take for granted what you have and always be kind to others if they're not so kind to you all the time. Also that freedom isn't technically "free" there is a price to freedom, like you have to sign papers for certain right and you have to sometimes work for freedom.

This young african slave (Patsy, a freed girl) , shows that you have to pers
...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 03, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it it was amazing
The vast majority of books dealing with slavery, including those in the Dear America series, take place during the actual period of slavery, from taking people from Africa to slavery during the Civil War. This book, however, deals with the time period just after the Civil War, when the slaves were "freed."

The book does an excellent job showing how that "freedom" was, at times, in name only. Patsy is a young slave on a farm when the war ends, and we see how things don't change much for some of t
...more
Heather
This book in the series takes place on a plantation in South Carolina just after the end of the Civil War. Patsy, our diary writer, is now a former slave trying to figure out what it means to be “free”. Being free seems to be almost the same as being a slave when many of the things promised to them do not materialize but Patsy is determined to be truly free.

This is truly a coming of age story – but not in your typical way. At the beginning of the book Patsy is quiet and perfectly content to hang
...more
Amy Lane
Oct 17, 2016 Amy Lane rated it it was amazing
Great!
This book follows a slave girl through the struggles of her life, and is a great fictional account. I think that these Dear America books are good reads.
This book really informs you on the struggles of a slave girl, and also partly shows the struggles that followed the freedom slaves obtained through the Civil War. Though this book was not solely about this topic, it opened my eyes to it more.
You see, once slaves were freed, they didn't just have a farm house they could go live in, they h
...more
Misty Nickels
Sep 19, 2015 Misty Nickels rated it it was amazing
This was a well researched and well written book. I read others in the Dear America Diaries Series' many years ago. I may have actually already read this book when I as a child, but I couldn't remember so I read it again! I have loved every book I have read in the Dear America Series, and I knew I would love this one. I am so glad that Patsy ended up with Douglass in the long run. I just wish the book would have told more of their story. I know that wasn't the point of the book, but I would have ...more
Callie Stillion
Apr 14, 2014 Callie Stillion rated it it was amazing
Patsy`s free, but it does not feel like it. She lives at Davis Plantation, and she has to do chores with Nancy, the maid, and Mister Joe. Sir dies, and most of Patsy`s friends leave. Luke and Ruth have to leave, but Nancy stays, because it`s not legal for her to go until she is at least eighteen years old. Patsy can`t walk quite right, because one of her legs is longer than the other. She starts a school with Luke and Ruth, starts Nancy with reading and writing,and gets a crowd of children to le ...more
Erin Ledbeter
May 08, 2013 Erin Ledbeter rated it really liked it
My rating for Joyce Hansen memoir The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl is a 4 out of 5 stars.

Patsy is an African American girl and she is a slave on a plantation but later becomes a free slave. She taught herself how to read and write. So now she is teaching others how to write and read like how she taught herself.

What I liked about the story the diary of patsy, a freed girl is how she taught herself how to write and read. I liked it because back then it was illegal to have a slave be taught how to.
...more
Audrey
This is still a pretty good book, but I think I liked it a lot better when I read it as a kid. It probably deserves more than a two-star rating, but I just found my attention lagging at certain points. Consider it given 2.5 stars.

Would she really know how to spell all these words? I don't think most journals have this much dialogue, either. That said, I understand the need to take a few liberties to make the format work.

The epilogue and historical note make the story feel satisfying and complet
...more
Rebecca
Apr 01, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Now that the Civil War is over, twelve-year-old Patsy, a slave girl, is finally free. But her life has changed little. She still lives and works on her former owners' plantation in South Carolina. She is still considered inferior to white people. And she still hasn't gotten a chance to see the world beyond where she grew up. But Patsy has one thing that nearly all former slaves don't have: the ability to read and write. And so she writes in her diary, which makes up this book, of her experiences ...more
Purlewe
Oct 22, 2010 Purlewe rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, audiobook
This is the 2nd Dear America book I read. It is the story of Patsy, a girl during the Reconstruction Era of South Carolina. Patsy is a freed slave, who stays on for a yr under contract to her former slaveowners. She has taught herself to read and write. She eventually ends up taking care of the household chores as other freed slaves leave as well as becoming the plantation's teacher to the freed children there.

I have not yet determined if these are based on fact and therefore historical fiction
...more
Priscilla Herrington
Joyce Hansen's I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly may be the best possible young adult novel for reading in June as Juneteenth is celebrated!

The novel, like all others in the Dear America series, is told in diary form. It begins April 21, 1865 and ends January 2, 1866; there is an epilogue that tells of Patsy's adult life and accomplishments. There is also a section of historical information and drawings to help young readers put it into historical perspective.

During the period of the "diary,"
...more
Nicole
Apr 09, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it
This books might not be for my age group, but considering the Dear Canada series started my love of history, I always pick them and the Dear America series up whenever I come across them. I'm rarely disappointed.
Since I took a class on this very subject, this book in particular was interesting to read. It also captured so many emotions so well, especially the hope that so many freed slaves felt. It was a bit predictable at times, and the not quite villainization of Nancy didn't sit completely r
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Kids/Teens Book Club: Dear America Books 8 70 Oct 08, 2013 07:00PM  
do you like this book? 1 13 Sep 15, 2008 12:21PM  
  • A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859 (Dear America)
  • Dreams In The Golden Country: the Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 (Dear America Series)
  • So Far From Home: the Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America)
  • West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi
  • The Great Railroad Race: the Diary of Libby West (Dear America)
  • A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 (Dear America)
  • The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl (Dear America)
  • Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 (Dear America)
  • My Heart is on the Ground: the Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania, 1880 (Dear America)
  • When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer (Dear America)
  • A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence (Dear America)
  • Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota (Dear America)
  • A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 (Dear America)
  • All the Stars in the Sky: The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder (Dear America)
104427
Joyce Hansen has been writing books and stories for children and young adults for over twenty years. Joyce was born and raised in New York City, the setting of her early contemporary novels. She grew up with two younger brothers and her parents in an extended family that included aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, all living nearby in the Morrisania section of the Bronx.

Attending Bronx publi
...more
More about Joyce Hansen...

Other Books in the Series

Dear America (1 - 10 of 43 books)
  • A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620 (Dear America)
  • The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777 (Dear America)
  • When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864 (Dear America)
  • A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859 (Dear America)
  • Across The Wide And Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary Of Hattie Campbell
  • So Far From Home: the Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America)
  • West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi
  • Dreams In The Golden Country: the Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 (Dear America Series)
  • Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 (Dear America)
  • Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, R.M.S. Titanic, 1912

Share This Book