It's 1838, and James has made a secret plan to escape Master Graham’s farm–and slavery. James tells his dog Zeus he has to stay behind: he’s simply too noisy to bring along on a dangerous nighttime journey. But when two white men capture James soon after he runs, he’s grateful his faithful hunting dog didn’t obey. Zeus has followed behind, and the scrappy hound rescues James from his captors. An author’s note describes the real life inspiration behind the book: James Smith, a slave who escaped with the help of his dog and went on to become a farmer and Baptist minister.
ELISA CARBONE is an acclaimed novelist whose historical fiction has earned her an ALA Notable Book, an ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and the Jefferson Cup Award. This is her first picture book.
E. B. LEWIS is the award-winning illustrator of more than 25 books for children, including Joe-Joe's First Flight by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley; Talkin' About Bessie by Nikki Grimes, winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Award for Illustration; and Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson, a Caldecott Honor Book. He lives in New Jersey.
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 2008:
"A vividly realized narrative, based on a true story."