Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs” as Want to Read:
Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs

by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  261 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery; it's the only life she has ever known. Now, with the death of her mistress, there is a chance she will be given her freedom, and for the first time, Harriet feels hopeful. But hoping can be dangerous, because disapointment is devastating. Harriet has one last hope, though: escape north. And as she faces numerous ordeals, this hope give ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by Atheneum Books (first published 1992)
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 Letters from a Slave Girl, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Letters from a Slave Girl

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 513)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nadja Carrington
The Book " Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs" was about a girl of African American Descent named Harriet Ann. Harriet Ann was born into slavery but did not know until her adolescent years. When Harriet's mother had died her owner had promised Harriet's father freedom if he could pay for it. He father began saving up meanwhile Mrs. Margaret was getting ill. While on her death bed she was helping Harriet learn to read and write. Harriet had dreams to make it to the North with ...more
Barbara
Wow! As I turned every page I could not help but feel as if I was living life beside this Slave Girl in the 1830's. The author of this book took me deep into the life of young girl name Harriet Jacob, where I did not experience her life from the outside, but from her personal place where all her thoughts and true feelings were hidden...her diary, letters to her loved ones.

The reality and the rawness of Harriet Jacobs' story is what makes this book so captivating. I experienced each event with H
...more
Laura
I chose this book from the library simply because I thought I was in a rut. I've been reading a string of fantasy and science fiction books and I needed something new. If I'm going to tell my students to branch out, I ought to also.

The content of Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs is very mature. It talks about how her master sought to use her sexually with her consent while another older white man was given her favors while she was in her teens. Some of my middle school stud
...more
Dreamergirl
This book showed the hard slave life very interestingly- through letters it shows a life of a girl, a woman and a mother- Harriet Jacobs. When her kind mistress dies when she is 12 years old, she is left at the mercy of her cruel new master, who is very abusive to her, like her father, she can't take the struggle of daily slavery life anymore. She than falls in love with a man she calls R throughout the book, afraid that someone will find it. She asks the Doctor's (her master's) approval to marr ...more
Dale
The fictionalized version of a real-life runaway slave story.

Mary E. Lyons' book is a fictionalized account of the true story of Harriet Jacobs, a slave girl from North Carolina who escaped and hid in her grandmother's attic for seven years, beginning in 1835, before making her way north to freedom.

Lyons chose to use a fictional diary format to tell the story of Harriet Jacobs. In real life Jacobs could read and write and actually published a book about her life in 1861 called Incidents in the
...more
Komugi Madara
This book is about this girl called Harriet Jacobs, the slave girl. She lost her mother when she was young, but she writes letters to her dead mother about her life in America. It starts with how the person who was treating Harriet like a real daughter dies. She writes her mother about the funeral, and how dad told her to be strong. Then the story begins. She tells her mom how much she wants to go back to Africa, how much she wants to see her mother, how tough it is to work there, and how there ...more
Jen
Harriet Jacobs has an amazing story. I learned about her life during the African American Cultural Celebration in Raleigh, and was pleasantly surprised to find this book in our library collection. It was in the Juvenile section, and I'm moving it to YA - there are situations in this book that make it unsuitable for young children.

I wish the author had continued the theme of the book throughout the text. The last section is narrated in a more textual fashion, but would have been much more effect
...more
Vilo
This is a powerful look into slavery using incidents in the life of a real woman, Harriet Jacobs. There is another book "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," which is by Harriet Jacobs. A friend said that reading the "Letters" first would make "Incidents" a little easier to read. Mary Lyons has done a good job of using powerful scenes from Jacobs' life in a way that young readers could understand. It made me think about what a trap slavery was for white men and women--leading them to do all s ...more
English315/educ510
Ever wondered what it was like to live as a slave girl? Do you struggle with ordeals in your life and think that no one could possible understand? Mary E. Lyons takes Harriet Jacob's book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and transforms her accounts into letters to lost relatives and friends. The letters are intriguing because they give accounts of Harriet's struggles as a slave girl. She writes about her unfulfilling promises, lost love, her children. The letters also give a biography. It ...more
Michelle
Very interesting, yet disturbing account of life as a female slave.
Yoon Jin-  ISB
This book is heart-wrenching story about an African slave girl in NC. It was really interesting to read about the unfair treatments that slaves had to face during back time. The most interesting but also, sad part was when she couldn’t meet her children for many years by hiding from polices. This book gives readers how did a slave girl felt about the events she had faced. Historian who wants to figure out about the perspectives that slaves had during back time, this book is waiting for you.
Sherrie
Letters from a Slave Girl is based on the life and letters of Harriet Jacobs who was born into slavery in Edenton, NC. Harriet's tale is one of unfailing hope, faith and courage in the pursuit of the most precious of human rights, freedom. This book made my heart soar at times and at others it made me angry to think that any human could think they had the right to own another. I loved this book with it's raw and honest portrait of slavery and the lives and families it destroyed.
Nakelle
This book is based on the true actual letters or Harriet Jacobs but these are not the actual collection of the letters. The book is written in letter form but it is only based on the true story. I had a really hard time following this book and coming to the understanding of the olden time language that was spoken by this young slave girl. The storyline is very emotional and will leave you looking for a box of tissues.
Heidi
Interesting read. I enjoyed it. Still trying to figure out what was true and what wasn't, but overall it was still a good read to help one see how scary it might have been for a slave in hiding.

Read for YA lit. class. Review: Poignant story based on the true experiences of Harriet Jacobs, who hid for years in hopes of escaping. The epistolary format brings a personal touch.
Madison
I gave this book 2 stars because it was kind of boring, and I didn’t really like it. It was a biography, and it explained how Harriet Jacobs escaped from slavery. Usually I’m interesting in books about this subject, but I thought this one was kind of boring. But it was very descriptive, and made you think about how horrible it would have been to be in her position.
Alli
Another heart-wrenching true story of a girl that escaped slavery and all that it cost her to do so. This story took place in Edenton, NC which is my husbands home town. It was really interesting to read about slave life in a city that is quite familiar. At the same time it made me very ashamed of this part of US history.
Bekah
I liked the history of this stroy and it helps you understand how horribal slavery really was and what they went through. But story wise it was boaring. I could have just read a page out of a text book and gotten the same information and feelings about her situations that I got from reading this.
Jess
It was a good reminder of the often untold story of what enslaved women experience and a new side for me. However, this wasn't written that well, the biographer could have made it more interesting and less rote. It was quick and easy to read, which was good.
Terry
Jan 27, 2011 Terry marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition
Natasha has an incredible review at Maw Books. All I can say is "Wow!"
Victor
I love african american history and this books put you in a first person account of what it was like to be, a slave girl. This book will translate well into a movie, if anyone dare to tell its truth.
Donaldsons
Easy read with a message of American history. I'm curious to read Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl of which this was loosely based. Interesting life of Harriet Jacobs.
Bethanyh2o
This book was very good. I am going to read the second one now called "Letter from a slave boy ".
Which is about the son of the slave girl in the 1st book
Sandy Sopko
A junior version of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Harriet Jacobs herself -- this would be a good choice for struggling readers.
Sarah
I really enjoyed this. Another great book to open your eyes to what women went through as slaves in this Country. It's amazing they made it.
Danielle
This story is actually the same book as "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" by Jacob Harriets, which I believe to be a better version.
Lois
Well done. Fictionalized series of letters to family members from Harriet Jacobs. It appears to be very well researched.
sarafem
A great book to read in segments to kids, to help them understand the implications of slavery.
Chey
fantastic ! An account of a life of a slave,may we all learn a lesson from histoy!
Benedette

This book is a page-turner. Depressing in one way, uplifting in another.
Danielle Wood
Wasn't my favorite ... "Nightjohn" and "Sarny" by Gary Paulsen were better.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Tituba of Salem Village
  • The Journal Of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy (My Name Is America)
  • Good Fortune
  • My Name Is Sally Little Song
  • The Primrose Way
  • Stealing Freedom
  • The Well: David's Story
  • Beyond the Burning Time
  • The Opium War
  • The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives
  • Numbering All the Bones
  • The Wind Done Gone
  • North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad
  • Sally Hemings
  • Bat 21
  • Counting on Grace
  • Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England
  • With Every Drop of Blood: A Novel of the Civil War
15154
Mary E. Lyons, a former teacher and librarian, became a full-time writer in 1993. She is the author of nineteen books for young readers published by Scribner, Atheneum, Henry Holt, Houghton Mifflin and Oxford University Press. Born and raised in the American South, she lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband, Paul. Her latest publication, written for adults, is a concise, narrative hi ...more
More about Mary E. Lyons...
Dear Ellen Bee: A Civil War Scrapbook of Two Union Spies Roy Makes a Car Letters from a Slave Boy: The Story of Joseph Jacobs Stitching Stars: The Story Quilts of Harriet Powers (African-American Artists and Artisans) Sorrow's Kitchen: The Life and Folklore of Zora Neale Hurston

Share This Book