Rebecca Owen's Reviews > January's Sparrow

January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco
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's review
Sep 19, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, multicultural, childrens

This book tells the true story of the Crosswhite family, slaves on a Kentucky plantation, and their journey to freedom. Told by January, the adopted son of the Crosswhites, it is primarily about Sadie, the youngest child. They travel through nights, across the Ohio River along the Underground Railroad, ending in Marshall, Michigan. When slave trackers find them here, they must once again flee but at last meet again with January who had been thought dead.
The historical aspect of the book makes it a great pairing with studies about this dark time of American history. The illustrations are often dark and bloody, but they fully capture the emotion and terror of the time. The reader is drawn into that emotion as her own. This is recommended for grades four to six and this is appropriate due not only because of the subject matter, but as this is generally when children are learning about slavery and the Civil War. It is a beautiful book that captures the attention as well as the heart.
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