Grade 4-6?It is a momentous day for the Peach family. Evie and her father, both freed slaves, are going to buy her mother's freedom. A free black person in the state of Missouri in 1857 was in a precarious position, and Evie and her family experience racial injustices typical of that period. The girl is harassed by the Irish boys who live nearby, but feels unable to confide in her father for fear that any action on his part would lead to more trouble. When the boys publicly accuse the Peach family of being runaway slaves, their word is taken as truth. In the shuffle of the crowd, Evie manages to slip away unnoticed and retrieves the papers needed to save her family. Unfortunately, the most climactic moment of the book, when the documents are brought forth at a slave auction, is described only in Evie's closing diary entry. Presumably this is because of the format of the series: all of the action takes place during the course of one day. This construction hinders potential excitement in the story. The third-person narrative and the use of past tense throughout most of the text make the action seem static and serve to distance readers from the events. Also, a potentially confusing typographical error has the final diary entry that frames the story dated months before the Peaches' big day.?Robin L. Gibson, Muskingum County Library System, Zanesville, OH
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