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War Comes to Willy Freeman (Arabus Family Saga) Paperback – January 1, 1987


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Arabus Family Saga (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reissue edition (January 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440495040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440495048
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A suspenseful historical novel about a young black woman's fight against racism. Ages 812.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

Willy Freeman's life changes forever when she witnesses her father's death at the hands of the Redcoats and returns home to find that the British have taken her mother as a prisoner to New York City.

Willy, disguised as a boy, begins her long search for her mother and luckily finds a haven at the famous Fraunces Tavern. But even with the help of Sam Fraunces and her fellow worker, Horace, Willy knows that to be black, female, and free leaves her open to danger at every turn. What will tomorrow bring?


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Book Review on War Comes to Willy Freeman by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier, Fiction

During the Revolutionary War, Wilhelma Freeman's (Willy, for short) mother is taken by the British so that she can care for their clothes as a washerwoman. That leaves Willy, a black slave, alone because her father had died a free man when fighting the British as a minuteman. Willy, a perseverant 13-year old girl, disguises herself as a boy and tries to find her mother through blizzards, bare feet, and other hazards. All along the way, Willy is stalked by Captain Ivers, who doesn't believe that she, or any of his slaves, should be free.

Willy is a perseverant girl. In trying to find her mother and escape from the clutches of Captain Ivers, she walks through snowstorms with bare feet, and at one point, she jumps into a river in the middle of winter to escape detection. She wasn't a very lively character. Her actions revolved around working in a tavern and looking for her mother. She didn't too much else so the book felt boring and repetitive.

During her quest for her mother, she befriends Sam, a middle-aged tavern owner. He is the most humorous character in the book. He has a few funny lines, but mostly he is business-like and serious. As Willy's boss, he helps Willy by paying her for her work at the tavern and providing her a place to say.

Captain Ivers is a cruel slavemaster, who hates even the thought of a slave being free. When Willy's father died as a free man, Willy earned her freedom; however, Captain Ivers does anything in his power to stop Willy, even arresting her uncle, who became a free man after fighting in the Revolutionary War.

Throughout the story, Willy perseveres on in her search for her mother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Whitney on January 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
War Comes To Willy Freeman is a good book because it informs you on the history of the US without boring you to death. It is a good book to read for people who like adventures and mysteries. It is one of the most interesting history books i have ever read. If you are in need of a book for school, War Comes To Willy Freeman is the right choice for you!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this book you will meet Willy, Lucy, Jordan, Captain and Mrs Iveres, Horance, and Sir Fraunses. The main character is Willy Freeman. Willy goes on an amazing adventure to find her mother after her mother is taken aboard a prision ship. She stops at alot of places during her long search for her mother like, Mrs and Captain Iveres place, then she stops at Sir Frauses tavern where she stays for 2 whole years. After her fellow helper Horance finds out that she's a girl and not a boy he starts treating her like a slave. Then when the war ends she finds out that her mother is very ill, and Captain Iveres doesen't want to call up the doctor to see what's wrong with her. That's all the information that I'll give you. You'll have to read to find out what happens to Willy's mom.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
War Comes To Willy Freeman is a wonderful book if you like learning about the American Revolution. This book takes place in New York. Willy Freeman is the main character. Her father goes to fight the awful British. After reading this book I wouldn't want my dad going to war. Her mother was taken by the British and Willy doesn't know where she is. This book tells about the hardships Willy Freeman has to go through. The reason I didn't give this book 5 stars, was because I wanted to know what happened afterwards. I recommened this book to people who like adventure.
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Format: Paperback
This book helps children understand the role minority-race Americans have played throughout history, and also tackles the sex issue--Willy is a girl who disguises herself as a boy to stop herself from being victimized by a society that drafts black women decidedly on the bottom of the totem pole. She has to deal with losing her daddy in the war and then becoming an adult who provides for herself, all while keeping the secret of her being female from those who know her. It's well-written enough and engaging.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elad Cohen on March 20, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
This book is about a girl whose name is Willy Freeman. Her life changes forever when she witnesses her father's death at the hands of the British, and returns home to find that the British had taken her mother as a prisoner to New York City. Willy begins her long search for her mother disguised as a boy, and luckily finds a place to stay with the famous Fraunces, in his tavern in New York City. Even though Willy has the help of Sam Fraunces and her friend Horace she still knows that being a black female and free will not make the search any easier or safer. I really liked Willy. She was very brave when she witnessed her father's death, and also later, when she came back home to find that her mom was captured by the British and she was left all alone. I also admired her trying to get to her mom even though she was thousands miles away. Willy encouraged me and taught me that even in the worst situations never give up. She never gave up looking for her mom, even though everybody treated her as a boy. Willy changed because from a slave she became a free person. For nine years she had her freedom and even though she wasn't treated very well as a female and a black person she wasn't a slave anymore. But when she lost her parents no one believed her she was a free person and they tried to put her into slavery again. Willy also changed because she told everybody that she was a boy. Because she wasn't wearing a dress everybody treated her like a boy. I admired most of Willy's decisions because they were decisions that affected not only her mom and her uncle's lives but her own as well. Some decisions she made were ones she had to be very brave for. For example, after she ran away from Captain Ivy the second time she risked her life and came back to help her aunt to bury her mother.Read more ›
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