Friday, January 24, 2014

The Other Side of Free by Krista Russell

Book: The Other Side of Free
Author: Krista Russell
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: From Goodreads:

It is 1739. Young Jem has been rescued from slavery and finds himself at Fort Mose, a settlement in Florida run by the Spanish. He is in the custody of an ornery and damaged woman named Phaedra, who dictates his every move. When Jem sets out to break free of her will, an adventure begins in which Jem saves a baby owl, a pair of runaway slaves, and, eventually, maybe all the residents of Fort Mose.
While Jem and the other characters are fictitious, the story is based on historical record. Fort Mose was the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. In 1994 the site was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2009, the National Park Service named Fort Mose a precursor site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. 

My rating: 3.5 Stars
My opinion: I felt this was a good storyline, but a tad difficult to follow and slow paced.  On that note, THE HISTORY IN THIS BOOK WAS UNBELIEVABLE! It contained very little known facts about the history of the United States wrapped up in an interesting storyline.  

I found I really wasn't connected as much as I wanted to be to the main character, Jem, which was really sad to me. I just felt all of the characters could have been developed much more strongly than they were.

On a final note, I thought it was written for a tad older than the audience it was marketed for. Some of the writing and phrases might be too old for a middle school reader to grasp.

Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : Yes, to an older audience though.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

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