Freedom Stone
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Freedom Stone

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Lillie's papa believed in freedom-for him, his family, and all the slaves on the Greenfog plantation. So when the Confederate Army promised freedom to the family of every slave who served in the Civil War-whether they came home or not-Lillie's papa decided he had to take the chance.

But when Lillie's family got the news that her papa was killed, they weren't freed. The arm...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 6th 2011 by Philomel
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Jenna
I absoulutly loved this book, there was never a dull moment. There are many books out there on slavery, but this book by far is the most original in my opinion. Bett the baker with her magical stone in her brick stove, very original, would have never thought of that. With the mix of love interest, action, and even a pinch of magic, this turned out to be a great read.
Shazzer
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

Jeffrey Kluger's Freedom Stone is an odd little book. Part historical fiction, part magical fantasy, it meshes together in the story of one slave child trying to write a wrong, save her little brother from being sold and see her family free. Lillie is thirteen years old when her father is killed fighting for the Confederate army, an act that should have freed her, her mother and her brother, Plato. But when a sack of Union gold is found on her father's person, he i...more
Qnpoohbear
This is an interesting book that blends fact and fantasy. The details about life in slavery are excellent. The author doesn't spare the harsh realities but handles slavery in an age-appropriate manner. The characters are a bit stereotypical, especially the white ones. Even so, I liked Lillie a lot and identified with her stubbornness. I admired Lillie's willingness to do whatever she could to become free and Mama's pride. The only thing I didn't like was the third person narration. I think it sh...more
Tiffany
Freedom stone was a great book because it starts okay but then it gets so interesting that you want to finish the book.Also the book was suspenseful because I wanted to know if it was true that Lillie's father stole the coins that they found in his coat after he had died in the war. The author was really good at creating a cliffhanger in the middle of the story. For example, "A telegraph message was sent to the Big House telling the Master that upon Papa's death, he had been found in possession...more
Reader
A strange little bit of magical realism that I'm sure a lot of folks will be chewing over and puzzling. In the end I think it works, though. Lillie's family was promised their freedom in the event that her father, serving the Confederate army, served out his time. Unfortunately, after his dead Lillie's papa was found with Yankee gold on him, leaving his family enslaved. Worse still, a slave trader is due at the plantation and Lillie's fairly certain her little brother Plato is close to being sol...more
Anda Rosca
This book takes time during the period in which slavery had still existed.
the main character in this book is Lillie who lives with her mother and little brother. Her father was killed during the war between the States. he had decided to fight so he can be free along with his family. When Lillie and her family received the new they were heartbroken. The army had also made a discovery that her father was a thief and the promise of Lillie's family being free was broken.
Lillie knows that her fathe...more
Sarah
Sep 01, 2013 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 12+
Recommended to Sarah by: Library
It's been a while since I've read a historical fiction novel from the point of view of a slave during the 1800s, so this was refreshing. Told from the perspective of a slave girl in South Carolina nearing the end of the American Civil War, it's a novel that really shows the bad things about being a slave, along with the fun things they were allowed to do. What threw me off a little was the fantasy element in this. (view spoiler)...more
Starr Griggs
There were things that I liked and things that bothered me. The things that bothered me the most was the way that Lillie nonchalantly faced things, though the consequences if she was caught was the whip at worst and death at best. To me this was more of a watered down portrayal of slavery, and I understand that this is juvenile fiction. Though it is an ugly and tumultuous time, it is a part of the United State's history. I think if you choose to write about this time, in honor of the men and wom...more
Mel Raschke
Lillie, her little brother, Plato, and her mother are slaves on a South Carolina plantation. Their father took a chance and joined the Confederate army, with the promise that he and his family would be freed after the conflict. Papa's been killed, but Mama and the children were expecting their freedom until word came that a bag of gold was found on Papa's body. Presuming it was stolen, freedom has been denied. When it becomes obvious that Plato may soon be sold away, Lillie is determined to prov...more
Cheryl
This is a magical book (literally) about a girl named Lillie, living on a tobacco plantation. Her father has been killed in a war, unfairly accused of stealing Yankee gold, and her mother is struggling to support their family without him. On top of that, her brother Plato is about to be sold to the shipyards. With the help of Bett, an old woman who bakes bread that warps time, and a certain pair of magic stones, Lillie is going to need as much help as she can get. Can she clear her father's name...more
Malena
I enjoyed this book, even though I honestly had low expectations for it at the beginning. I thought that it was just going to be another boring, sugar-coated, simple story-telling of the civil war, but it was more than that. Freedom Stone always captured my attention with the originality of the plot and emotional struggles between charcters. The magic elements also added a subtle touch of fantasy without making it sound too fairytale-ish. I think that this book is a contender for the 2012 Newber...more
Kris
Either a 2.5 or a 3. Disappointed in this one. Writing was average, not amazing, and the fantasy element just wasn't believable at all. I wanted to believe, but I also kept comparing this (in its tone, especially) to Never Forgotten by McKissack, and Freedom Stone came up short. I did root for the protagonist and her family, yet the fantasy part of this story kept me from suspending my disbelief, so it really took me a long time to get through this.
Nancy H
This is an excellent story of a young slave girl in 1863 who is dealing with the turmoil in South Carolina as the Civil War progresses. Her father has died in the war but has been falsely accused of stealing money from a white man. Lillie is determined to clear his name and also to save her little brother from being sold as a cabin boy for a ship, even if she has to use some Ibo magic to accomplish her goals.
Kristina Tran


This book is very good it brings the pains of being a slave and the difficulties of being free during the civil war. Lillie and Cal have suffered a lot but they still hold there heads high and that gives the sense that they still have they're pride. The scene of the war is so detailed I can see it in my mind.
Lisa
Dec 03, 2011 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: juv
I would waver on this one as a 3.5 or a 4. I liked the characters, and I found the weaving of fantasy and historical fiction to be interesting. I wonder though if the author included too many factual asides that it slowed down the pacing. I'm interested in hearing what other Newbery club readers have to say about this one.
Molly
Fabulous read about the Civil War on a plantation in South Carolina. One of the characters, Bett, has magical powers which she activates from a brick in her oven as she bakes cakes. Bett even allows time travel so that Lillie can clear her father of being a thief and free Lillie, her brother, and father.
K
Very good with a satisfying ending. A slave girl wants to find out the truth about her father--could he have stolen Yankee gold? The ancient woman who knows Aftrican secrets helps her bend time and learn what she needs to know. Lots of sensory images, but not bogged down by them.
Kris
I liked the writing style, I liked the story flow. I liked the characters. What would have made the story better would have been omitting the magical elements. They weren't believable and took away from what started out to be an engaging page-turner. I was disappointed.
Malissa
I'm not a huge fan of anything that isn't realistic but this was a really well done story. The characters are very real, the pacing was perfect and you just wanted to know if everything worked out for everyone.
Heidi
I read this book after my daughter recommended it, and it was a great read. I love reading books where the protagonist is a young girl with intelligence and courage, and this did not disappoint.
Betsy
One Sentence Review: A disappointing mix of magic and historical fiction where the strength of the story itself should have carried it along, fantasy or no.
Deena
Not fully historical fiction, not really fantasy...not sure where it fits and it wasn't amazing enough that I want to spend time figuring it out.
Embrc
Spirited characters, well written with lots of historical research. Mix of fantasy, drama and history. Starred review in Booklist. Ages 9+ -AM
PWRL
Jul 12, 2011 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2011-new
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Jeffrey Kluger is a senior writer for TIME. He joined TIME as a contributor in 1996, and was named a senior writer in 1998. He has written a number of cover stories, including reports on the connection between sex and health, the Mars Pathfinder landing, the loss of the shuttle Columbia, and the collision aboard the Mir space station.

In 2002, Mr. Kluger along with two other colleagues, won First P...more
More about Jeffrey Kluger...
The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio Nacky Patcher & the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats Moon Hunters: NASA's Remarkable Expeditions to the Ends of the Solar Systems

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