________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 13. . . .November 25, 2011

cover

Morning Star.

Judith Plaxton.
Toronto, ON: Second Story Press, 2011.
277 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-897187-97-5.

Subject Heading:
Underground Railroad-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

The next day, Felicia's friends didn't wait for her at lunch, and they didn't look up when she joined them with her sandwich.

"Are you going to watch the lunchtime play rehearsal?"

"Maybe," said Dodie.

"Dunno," said Renate.

Sophie didn't reply, avoiding Felicia's glance by looking at the table.

"I've got some brownies. My grandma made them. They're really yummy. Want some?" Felicia unwrapped the squares.

Only Dodie took one, with a muttered "thanks."

Before Felicia had finished her lunch, the three others scrunched their wrappings for the garbage and stood up together. "Going to the play," said Renate. They walked away, leaving Felicia alone. The library offered a place to read, so Felicia stayed there, feeling bad and flipping through magazines until it was time to return to class.

 

Flower is a 12-year-old slave. Felicia is a grade eight student. They were born a hundred and fifty years apart, but their lives will intersect in a museum near Collingwood, ON, because of a quilt and a painting they created. As their stories are told in alternating chapters, readers will see how each girl faced incidents of racism in her life with courage. Flower and her family are running from their owners and hiding from slave catchers. They are able to cross into Canada, though, with the help of a network of people who provide them with shelter, food, medicine, and transportation. The Underground Railroad helped slaves like Flower reach communities where they could make a home. Felicia faces racism at her new school from a student and a teacher, but she is able to feel proud of herself and her heritage after she connects with new friends who share her love of singing and horseback riding. The "Morning Stars" in this story represent freedom. Although 'the stars' are different for each girl, they allow them to have hope and a future where they can be accepted for being themselves.

Recommended.

Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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