A tragic beginning, an unlikely intervention, and a life of hope and love in the hands of a master storyteller. Award-winning author, Wendy Lawton, does it again in her most recent installment of The Daughters of the Faith series. Freedoms Pen is an historical fiction stand-alone billed for eight to twelve-year-olds, but a book even the most sophisticated reader will enjoy. Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped into slavery, sold on an auction block and transplanted into pre-revolutionary war-brewing Boston. She lived during a time when slave children remained uneducated, women were rarely published and most didnt believe a slave could learn to read much less become a celebrated writer. Despite all odds, she became a popular poet, the first African-American to publish a book, and one of the first writers to earn a living from her work. Lawton flawlessly knits known facts and fictional details into a riveting story of loss, hope, and triumph. The reader is transported to Africa, the horrors of a slave ship, and then to the affluent Wheatley home in a way that is historically accurate, but without so much detail as to overwhelm young readers. Lawton handles heavy themes with an eye toward age-appropriateness. The characters are riveting, real, and complex: from the cruelty of the slave traders, to the generosity and caring of the slave-owning Wheatleys, to Phillis with her heart-wrenching loss, struggle, and ultimate victory. Affluent visitors and resentful slaves in the Wheatley household add additional tension. Faith and prevalent Christian themes are explored and lived out without being preachy. The ending comes quickly but leaves the reader satisfied. A back-of-book glossary and non-fiction notes add fullness and closure to the reading experience. Highly recommended for anyone with a bent toward history, humanity, or hope. From the Christian Library Journal; used by permission.
Freedoms Pen is a story of a young slave girl who comes to America and becomes a famous poet. This is an inspirational book to young poets and kids all around the U.S.A. I give this book a thumbs up. By Suzanne Alvernaz age 12
What a wonderful book!I enjoyed this book and passed it on to my teenage daughter. It was so great to find a book written for young adults but entertaining for all ages.The author makes history come alive with her incredibly real characters and I look forward to the next title in this Daughters of the Faith series. Its everything historical fiction ought to be, definitely worth reading.
Freedoms Pen is a compelling and tender true story that chronicles the life of a seven-year-old African girl who is kidnapped by slave traders, survives a harrowing voyage to America, and is purchased by a Boston family. Instead of receiving the beatings she fears, Phillis (named after the name of her slave ship) is treated with kindness. She brings her love of language and storytelling from Africa to Boston, where she is tutored in reading and writing. At twelve, she writes poetry that stirs the soul. She is first published at thirteen. She writes about Jesus being the Savior of the slaves as well as the white people. Phillis knows her words are hard for some to swallow, but it is the truth. She suffers persecution for being different from the other slaves, but she focuses on her gratitude to God to see her through. Inspiring story!