Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Almost to Freedom

Almost to Freedom

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Illustrator:  Colin Bootman 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Carolrhoda Books, 2003   ISBN: 978-1575053424

Sally is a homemade rag doll. She doesn’t have any hair, and she isn’t glamorous, but she wears a pretty bandana and has a lovingly embroidered face. Sally was made for Lindy, a little slave girl living on a plantation in Virginia, and from the day Sally is put in Lindy’s arms, the doll and the little girl are inseparable. Sally is with Lindy when the little girl is working under the hot sun in the cotton fields. She is also there when the grownups are talking about Freedom. Lindy - and Sally - learn that the only way to get Freedom is to “run away” to a place that the grownups call “North.”
At first Lindy is not sure why Freedom is such a good thing, but after she is cruelly whipped by the overseer for wanting to know how to spell her name, Lindy comes to understand that Freedom truly is something worth risking everything to get.

One night Lindy is woken up when it is still dark and she, Sally, and Lindy’s mama, leave the plantation forever. They are off to find Freedom in the North.

In this singular picture book children will get to see what it was like to be a runaway slave through the sewn on eyes of a little rag doll. They will see what it was like to travel along the Underground Railroad.

At the back of the book the author provides her readers with more information about the Underground Railroad and she also explains where the inspiration for her story came from.

This title was one of the 2004 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor books