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Lovejoy, Sharon.
New York : Delacorte, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 5.2
ISBN 0385744099

(3 booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

Her mama died in childbirth when she was born, and her pa and older brothers didn’t think enough of her to give her a name. They simply called her “Girl”. She grew up in fear of them, suffering their unspeakable abuse and serving as their slave, guarded by two vicious bloodhounds.

The day Zenobia knocked at her door, Girl’s life began to change. Zenobia was a runaway slave, whose family had all been separated and sold away to cruel plantation owners.

The two girls, of disparate color and background, forged an unlikely bond of friendship. Zenobia gave her a new name: Lark, because she sang like a bird. Together, they made their escape by night, using just their wits and a great deal of courage. They endured many hair-raising close calls, even as they received assistance from some Quaker families on the Underground Railroad. Did they successfully elude their pursuers and make it to freedom?

A gritty, well-told historical novel, filled with high adventure.  (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #2

Girl lives with her brothers and her bad-tempered Pa, on the small farm that was her grandfather’s in Virginia in 1858. Since the death of her grandfather, the only person that showed her tenderness, Girl has become housekeeper and servant to the remaining menfolk – tending the garden, cooking, cleaning, and staying clear of their casual abuse as best she can. Still, Girl hasn't given in. She is sustained by memories of her grandpa and all he taught her about wild and garden plants, stars, and animals, plus daily conversations with the mother she only knows from her grandpa’s stories. When a runaway slave girl named Zenobia shows up seeking refuge, Girl (later named Lark by Zenobia) decides to flee from her own horrible home life with Zenobia. Their dangerous escape brings them up against copperhead snakes, evil slave catchers and Lark’s own Pa and brothers who are chasing her down. Lark and Zenobia are joined by another runaway slave named Brightwell as they make their way to a Quaker safe house, where Lark believes Zenobia and her friends will be helped to freedom.   (Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award DCF 2015 - 2016)

Booktalk #3

A runaway slave girl and a white girl, who was never even given a name by her abusive father, team up in an attempt to escape from the abuse in their lives during the early 1800s. Follow their bumpy ride in this historical fiction adventure as they try to find freedom while the Southern dialect, colloquialisms, and superstitions give this book an authentic voice.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Program, 2017)

SUBJECTS:   Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Runaways -- Fiction.
                        Fugitive slaves -- Fiction.
                        Race relations -- Fiction.
                        African Americans -- Fiction.

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