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Priscilla and the Hollyhocks

Anna Broyles

Illustrated by Anna Alter

Picture Book

Ages 7 to 10

Charlesbridge, 2008, 978-1-57091-675-5

  Priscilla was born into slavery, and when she was still a very small girl her mother was sold. Lonely and heartbroken Priscilla spent a great deal of time sitting in her favorite place next to the hollyhock flowers that her mother had planted. When she was a still a little girl Priscilla was given work to do in the “Big House” and she lived in the shadow of her often angry and cruel master. Her only safe place was in the garden with the hollyhocks. Here she would make little flower dollies that she would float across the pond.

  After her master died Priscilla was sold. This time she was bought by a Native American and though he was not as cruel as Priscilla’s first master, he still treated her like a slave. Before she left her first home to live with the Cherokee Priscilla gathered up some hollyhock seeds so that she would be able to take a little of mother with her.

  Then all the Native American families were rounded up and forced to move away from their homes. For more than five hundred miles Priscilla and thousands of other people walked on the Trail of Tears. Would Priscilla ever find the peace she deserved?

  Based on the true story of a slave girl who was finally granted her freedom, this moving tale beautifully captures the pain and suffering that Priscilla endured. With a simple text and folk art style illustrations, this picture book highlights a painful time in America’s history, and celebrates the power of one person’s will to survive. 


Priscilla and the hollyhocks


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