Book Review: Send 'em South

Reading Level

Ages 4-8

Other Books in This Series

• On the Trail of John Brown's Body

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The first book in what is projected to be a multi-part series by distinguished author Alan Kay is Send 'Em South, a story of kids and the Civil War.

Lisa is a slave and daughter of a slave. She and her father escape their Savannah plantation and try to make their way all the way up north to Boston, where they hope to find safety and respect.

Another of the main characters is David, the son of an Irish immigrant whose family is now living in Boston.

Each kid has his or her own set of problems, many of which are caused by society: African-Americans are enslaved in the South, and Irish-Americans are despised in the North. As David discovers, he and his family might have their freedom--unlike Lisa and her family--but the two families share similar difficulties.

The narrative moves right along in this book, thrilling the reader with harrowing escapes and a sense of danger. Many times, the story of slavery and the Civil War seems like the story of adults fighting against each other. This book does a good job of relating just how big a part kids played in that part of American history.

I also liked the ending, which was not at all what I was expecting, based on the events leading up to it.

This book is a promising beginning to what looks to be a great series, Young Heroes of History. Pick it up!

And check out the website for the series.

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