Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Treasures! Steal Away... to Freedom

Not too much time for treasure hunting today but I spotted a gem to enjoy during lunch. Steal Away... To Freedom by Jennifer Armstrong, 1992.

The synopsis caught my interest: two 13 yr old girls escape to the north. One is African-American and the other is caucasian. The book opens with a letter written in 1928 from a Mary in Manilla to a Free in Toronto and alludes to a great friendship, mistakes, and a memoir that it is time to share with the world. Okay-- that hooked me: I do have a thing for old notes/letters.

My questions about who Mary and Free could be were soon answered. Mary is the granddaughter of the white girl (Susanna) in the synopsis and Free lives with the now elderly African-American girl (Beth).

Susanna and Beth decide it is time to share their story with the youngsters who write down every word.

Even though some bits are a bit melodramatic, the story the old women tell is compelling. Both sets of girls meet at age 13 in very different circumstances. I can't wait to find out how each set gets past the fear/distrust to become friends.

I really should have brought this home instead of saving it for next Tuesday's lunch read. Why do Susanna and Beth have to escape? Does Susanna's male cousin start harassing the girls? What is Susanna's horrid female cousin up to? Will Beth overcome her fear of punishment and let Susanna teach her to read? In the second story line, why does Free seem to dislike Mary at first sight?

Well, guess who is going to be raring to get to work next Tuesday?!


  1. Hey Lesa! Thanks for the sweet comment :D
    (I hope it's okay if I answer it here)

    Yeah, usually with memes you just post whichever blog is hosting the meme and pick any book you want :) It can either be the current book you're reading, or any other one you might want to do!

    The linky *should* work like this: you click on it, then you type in your name and url just so other people can click on it and see your post, and that way everybody can share theirs...but that's optional :)
    I hope that helps!

    I love your blog, by the way! Are you an American living in Australia?

  2. Hi, Amelia, I am Lesa's Co-blogger and I hope you don't mind if I respond, since I am an American living not too far from UQ!

    She and I met in Texas in 8th grade, and I emigrated to Oz after meeting a spunky Aussie in Mexico. He's still mine and I am still here after 21 years.

    Glad you found us.

  3. Amelia, Thank you so much for the info and for liking/following our blog! I love your blog as well can't wait to find some new YA books to read.

    Like I mentioned on your blog, I didn't think I'd be a big memer but this one sounds ideal and fun for us. Well, DeLynne doesn't know about it yet but she loves art too so I bet she will be gung ho!! btw, I asked another question on your blog about Mr. Linky.

    DeLynne, I'll inbox the details tonight. FB doesn't work at school. Lunch is over so back to work!


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