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A Voice for Kanzas

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Kansas Territory in 1855 is a difficult place to settle, particularly for a 13-year-old poet like Lucy Thomkins. Between the proslavery Border Ruffians and Insiders like her father who are determined to make Kansas a free state, it's hard to be heard, no matter your age. ...more
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published January 2012 by Kane Miller
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Sara Kovach
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lucy, a young aspiring poet, was uprooted from her home in Pennsylvania when her family emigrated to the Kanzas Territory. She had to build a new life, new friends, new school, a whole new life. She now had to face challenges that were she was protected from in her old life. She was now more directly involved in the Free States movement and the Underground Railroad - or as called in this story - the Liberty Line. Every decision she made had an impact on others she loved.

I found A Voice for Kanza
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A voice for kanzas is a great book and I love how Lucy is such a inspireing girl and amazing poet and I wold recommend this book to people who want to read an amazing and insering book.
Carrye Burr
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really good read, especially to help my daughter better understand the reality of slavery. I find the story remarkably applicable to today- it was a reminder not only to my daughter but to myself that injustice is fought not only in speech but in action, and freedom will not be achieved without cost. The characters were enjoyable and I definitely found myself caught up in the exciting story line.

The only thing I didn't love about the book was the way the girl's process/actions are kept secret
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Debra McArthur is a local Kanas City author and one of my friends. This is a stunning book that every teacher should not be without. I'm still reading it because it hits so close to home. I love poetry and this book is filled with wonderful poetry from a child during an important time in Kansas History. Having family from both Kansas and Missouri, just reading the first few chapters of this book gave me new insights into the opposing cultural believes of my family tree divided by more than the b ...more
What a nice addition to any collection of historical fiction about the turmoil-filled days leading up to the Civil War! To her dismay, thirteen-year-old Lucy Thomkins and her parents head to the Kansas Territory in 1855 in order to support the abolitionist movement and to start a business. Lucy is a poet who wonders how she will ever find anything beautiful about which to write in the area to which the family settles. As she fends off bullies at school who tease her because of her clothing and a ...more
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
WOW! I loved this book!

Having Grown up in Nebraska, I did not know that Kansas was named after the Kanza Indians or that the state was originally called Kanzas. This book tells the story of thirteen-year-old Lucy Thomkins's family's move to the Kansas territory to start a family General Store and help make sure that the Kansas territory becomes a "free state". Lucy writes beautiful poetry and soon many topics find their way into her journal: slavery, hiding slaves,the hard life of Kansas territo
Carro Herdegen
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG
Lucy is moving to Kansas, much to her dismay, with Papa, Mamma, and her brother Joseph. Pap wants to open a store and vote for Kansas to be free, but will there be anything for Lucy out there?
This isn't just a story about moving and having to start over. Lucy is trying to find herself out in Kansas in a way she couldn't in Pennsylvania. She tries to figure out her new life, how she fits into Kansas, and what she can do to help everyone she can. Lucy
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: waw-options
This historical fiction possible WAW nominee took awhile to warm up to. I guess it should be on the list since it was all about Kansas. But the story was not all that great. Lucy moves to the Kansas territory with her family who run a general store in Lawrence. So she meets Indians and helps with the underground railroad. she likes to write poetry and writes many poems about Kansas and freedom, but they are all in cursive,so the kids will have a hard time reading them. his will be a borderline y ...more
Lisa Hemmingson
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story of life in the Kansas Territory, 1855. Through the voice of a young girl, the reader gets a picture of the struggle between the proslavery people and the those who desired to create a free state for all people. Great read for anyone who likes historical fiction, pre-teen through adult.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really engaging (and historically accurate!) book about life in Kansas Territory through the eyes of a young poet. Highly recommended for upper elementary teachers focusing on this topic in their class--not to mention kids 8-9 and up looking for recreational reading.
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fiction, usborne
Engaging, great for historical fiction lovers, would be a great gentle read for the kid reading above their level -- not too disturbing, lots to think about, just enough suspense/tension
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lucy and her family move to Kansas as it struggles to become a free state and she becomes involved in the Liberty Line, moving runaway slaves into Canada.
Caroline Rose
Meticulously researched and lovingly written, A VOICE FOR KANZAS speaks to the power of words and a young girl’s courage to stand against slavery in Kansas Territory.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it
I read the first 150 pages and just couldn't get into it. ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was impossible to suspend my disbelief for the climax and conclusion.
Jillie M.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's perfect for someone who loves historical fiction, and poetry. ...more
PottWab Regional Library
Jul 03, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2013-new
Iorea Hanan
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Sep 17, 2018
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Jul 29, 2012
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Debra McArthur grew up in Springfield, Missouri, where her high school experience included church activities, choir, drum and bugle corps, and the kind of drama and angst that make a person really glad to grow up.

She earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. She has written e

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