Theresa C's Reviews > A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859

A Picture of Freedom by Patricia C. McKissack
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Nov 06, 10

Read in November, 2010

A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl-chapter book historical fiction
McKissack, Patricia Scholastic Inc. c1997 ISBN-0-590-25988-1
The year is 1859, just before the start of the Civil War and twelve year old Clotee is a slave on the Belmont Plantation in Virginia. She has known no other life other than that of a slave; however one of her jobs is to fan the plantation owner’s son as he is taking his lessons. It is in this way that she secretly learns how to read and write and begins to keep a secret diary that she hides in a hollowed out tree. Clotee eventually becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping other slaves to freedom and planning her own escape to freedom as well. The Dear American series are excellent historical fiction, many of them being diaries. They are great for historical knowledge as the author includes real historical events into the day to day events of the story. The reader can really know Clotee’s innermost thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Readers will also greatly appreciate the historical notes at the end of the story which include photos, maps, a recipe for sweet potato pie and the words and music to a traditional Negro spiritual.

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