Two runways on route to the North, where they can be free. Theme: friendship. Reading Level 5
Story of two girls, one an orphan the other a slave, that run away. They must travel from Virginia to Vermont on foot.
I read Steal Away for a book club in middle school, so when I spotted it at a thrift store, I decided to buy it and read it again. I liked it when I read it the first time, but I LOVED it the second time! The format is creative and helps readers view racism from different perspectives. There's Susannah, a northerner who is against slavery, but doesn't completely understand it. There's Bethelhem, a slave, who is the most mature of the two. And there's Mary, Susannah's granddaughter who tells her own story many years later. What's really great about this book is that readers can understand how even after the Civil War, racism existed despite the end of slavery. I know this now, of course, but in middle school I was more naive, as I assume many young readers are.
Another great aspect about this novel is how it pushes boundaries enough so young readers can understand the severity of the story, but it isn't inappropriate. Steal Away also moves quickly enough to satisfy the attention span of middle schoolers, unlike a lot of other historical fiction novels.
Whether you are in middle school, high school, or a college graduate, Steal Away is a beautifully written story that you won't be able to put down.