Minli's Reviews > The Freedom Maze

The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
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's review
Dec 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: middle-grade, historical, speculative, yay-diversity

Time-travel fantasy in which an 'aristocratic' white girl from the 1960s finds herself in the antebellum south. She travels in time, but not in space--so her tanned skin and rustic ways get her mistaken as a slave at the same house where she was visiting her grandmother.

Any book addressing or including slavery has the potential to be problematic. But while Sherman writes with honesty and sensitivity, she is not interested in the sweeping political ramifications--she's narrows her focus just on Sophie's journey, which, for me, makes it much more impactful. Written at a leisurely pace, I found myself admiring the vivid details of Sophie's life, both in the 1960s as well as a century earlier--Sherman never makes her characters a mouthpiece but depicts them as humans, just going about everyday life, and she always situates them in their proper historical context.

I still think it's a book better enjoyed by older readers. Some of the literary references in the first part of the book are a bit too cutesy, as if to invoke the nostalgia factor in adults instead of speaking directly to a child audience.
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