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McGill, Alice
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1999
IL K-3  RL 5.0
ISBN 039572287X
Sentenced to die on the gallows for stealing a pail of milk!  This almost happened to an English dairymaid, but fortunately she was saved because she could read!  In 1683, the ability to read was so special that it was the law that no one who could read the Bible could be executed for stealing.  Instead Molly Walsh was sentenced to work as an indentured servant in the Maryland Colony in America.  After seven years work as a servant on a colonial plantation, Molly is free to start her own farm.  She bought a slave to help her with the heavy manual labor.  Eventually, she set him free, and then married him, which was against the law of the colony.   After all the hardship and struggle in her life, an even greater tragedy struck when her children were very young, but Molly's strength and determination keep the family together.  Later, she became the grandmother of the most famous African-American scientist of the colonial and early Federalist times, a man of many accomplishments, Benjamin Banneker.  This true biography is an excellent choice for students who like history and historical fiction. The beautiful illustrations will add much to your enjoyment of the book.  (Jeannie Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)
SUBJECTS:     Banneker, Benjamin, 1731-1806
                        Family -- Fiction
                        Farm life -- Fiction


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