$9.00 – $17.00
by Amina Luqman-Dawson
Winner of the John Newbery Medal
Winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award
An Indiebound Bestseller
A New York Times Bestseller
Award-winning author Amina Luqman-Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.
Under the cover of night, twelve-year-old Homer flees Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, unwillingly leaving their beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the swamp.
In this society created by formerly enslaved people and some freeborn children, Homer finds new friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he crafts a plan to find his mother and help his new home.
Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the South, this is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage.
Ages 10 and up
Amina Luqman-Dawson loves using writing to tell stories and to build an understanding of race, culture, and community. Her published writing includes op-eds in newspapers, magazine articles, travel writing, and book reviews. She’s authored the pictorial history book Images of America: African Americans of Petersburg (Arcadia Publishing). She’s worked as a policy professional, researcher, and consultant on issues of education and criminal justice. She has a BA in Political Science from Vassar College and a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley. She’s a proud mother of a 13-year-old son. She, her husband, and son reside in Arlington, VA.