Tag Archives: slavery

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

This was our latest book club choice.

Published: 2010

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 369 pages

Setting: Virginia, late 1700s/early 1800s Continue reading


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Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Our American History Book Club is meeting this week. Our second topic of the year is the Civil War. We actually covered the Civil War two years ago, but focused mostly on the fighting by reading Iron Thunder and Across Five Aprils. This time around, since the kids are older, I wanted to focus more on the slavery aspect of the Civil War. I can’t remember where I first came across this title, but I wrote it down immediately since it sounded perfect for American History Club.

Published: 2007

Genre: middle-grade historical fiction

Length: 341 pages

Font: Historical, Felltype Roman

Setting: Buxton, Canada, and its surroundings, mid-1800s Continue reading

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America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Published: 2016 (It’s official publication date is today)

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 624 pages

Setting: Virginia and Paris, 1781-1828

Interest: I received a review copy of this book, but my opinion is completely my own. I agreed to the review because I do enjoy historical fiction books. Continue reading

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Beloved by Toni Morrison

Published: 1987

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 324 pages

Setting: the outskirts of Cincinnati, after the Civil War

Interest: It’s a Pulitzer Prize winner. I’m pretty sure I read it in college, but I figured it was worth reading again since it’s been so long and I don’t remember the book. Continue reading

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The Saltwater African by Lisa Bolekaja

I meant to write a short fiction Sunday post last night, but the wind blew our power out. I went to bed early instead. So, it’s turned into a short fiction Monday post.

Published: 2013 in Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars

Genre: historical fiction, magical realism

Length: 9 pages

Setting: Georgia, during the time of slavery

Interest: It was included in the 2014 annual Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Tchula is an obeah living on a plantation in Georgia. When a new slave, fresh from Africa, is added to the plantation, Tchula realizes she’s found an equal. She’s ready to run with him, but she needs to convince her sister to run with her. Her sister is scared to run, and is convinced to run with a bit of voodoo.

Final thoughts: A bit of life on a plantation with just a touch of magic.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Civil War presentations

It was our last American History Club meeting for the year this week. We all enjoyed ourselves and will be continuing the book club next year, with different time periods. We’ve pretty much been done with school, with this one last activity hanging over our heads (since the kids had to present on their Civil War topic of choice). Miss Adventure decided to talk about how slaves worked and lived. It was tricky finding her an appropriate book (she is only eight), but I was pleased with To Be a Slave by Julius Lester. I reviewed the book earlier this week if you want more details.

Mr. Curiosity wanted to do a Civil War battle. After flipping through The Civil War Chronicle, he finally settled on Antietam. This book was a great book to just open randomly and read. It had lots of pictures and illustrations, and provided information on everything from the people to the places of the Civil War. It’s not really meant to be read cover to cover, as there isn’t much narrative, but lots of information.

The other book Mr. Curiosity and I have been reading is the latest Schlock Mercenary book, The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse. Excellent as always. It made me laugh out loud every couple of pages, and I had a hard time putting it down, when I could get it out of the grubby hands of my child.

Happiness is a new Schlock book.

Happiness is a new Schlock book.

Mr. Curiosity celebrated by rereading all the other books in the series (this is the tenth, and I own all of the others). This time I was smart and made him pay half to buy the book.

Next week the kids will be at camp, so there will be lots of running about, but very little reading. All kinds of summer fun.Weekly-Wrap-Up

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To Be A Slave by Julius Lester

Published: 1968

Genre: YA nonfiction history

Length: 156 pages

Setting: U.S. during and after slavery

Interest: For her last American History Club project, Miss Adventure wanted to talk about the work slaves did in the South. I tried to convince her to pick something else, but she was adamant. Trying to find something that was age appropriate was tricky, but this book looked promising.

Summary: The book combines actual slave accounts with commentary. The slave accounts came from archived interviews with ex-slaves, and they were interspersed with the author’s words that would set up or provide more details about the events described by the ex-slave. The book covered such topics as how blacks became slaves from Africa, life as a slave, the work it went into picking cotton, and emancipation.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed the structure of the book – the combination of actual words with interstitial information. It wasn’t too graphic, but you did get a taste of the horror of living as a slave. The information comes in small doses, so it works well for the younger audience. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone, especially in the younger set, who wanted to know more about what life as a slave was like.

Reading challenges fulfilled: None, since I didn’t finish the book. I only read enough to make sure it would be appropriate and useful for Miss Curiosity to read.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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