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Legend of Freedom Hill Paperback – March, 2003

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-Altman uses a folksy, third-person voice to describe a fictional episode set in California during the Gold Rush. The story concerns the friendship between outsiders Rosabel, an African American, and Sophie, a Jewish girl. The tale turns on the fact that Rosabel has her "freedom papers," but her mother does not. When the woman is captured under the Fugitive Slave Act, the girls hatch a plan to free her. Conveniently, they find gold in a nearby cave that is worth enough to buy freedom for Rosabel's mother and the five other prisoners on the slave wagon. The ending stretches credibility a bit, but the book is competently painted and has curricular possibilities for a topic not typically treated in picture books. The watercolors are rendered in a muted palette; the main characters appear in sharper focus and slightly brighter colors. Consider where period picture books are popular.
Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. Best friends Rosabel and Sophia are outsiders in gold rush California. Rosabel has freedom papers, but she's the daughter of a runaway slave; Sophia belongs to the only Jewish family in town. When a slave catcher seizes Rosabel's mother, "Miz Violet," the two resourceful girls pan for gold, finally discover it in a cave, and use their claim to buy the freedom of Miz Violet and four other slaves. The informal tone and colloquial language establish a distinctive storyteller's voice. Cultural and historical facts are smoothly integrated into the story, but the focus is squarely on the friendship. Dappled watercolor illustrations provide interesting period details. Dramatic postures and vivid facial expressions reflect and embellish the narrative but occasionally have a contemporary look. Children will identify with the spunky, resourceful girls and enjoy the expeditious resolution. With multicultural and historical themes, this original "legend" will enhance social studies curricula, especially in California. Linda Perkins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584301694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584301691
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a fourth grade teacher in California where the social studies curriculum centers on the study of California. I was attracted to the book because of its multicultural theme and beautiful illustrations. I used it as a read aloud in class with some heavily guided discussion where the book falls off. It needs some expansion on why these two girls and their families might have been seen as outsiders in the town. The solution seems to come a little too easily to these minority girls in an era where prejudice and discrimination ruled the mining towns. It did envoke a good discussion amongst my students about the likelihood of such a conclusion. The book did a good job of showing certain mining techniques and vocabulary which reinforces our curriculum nicely. I recommend using it class, but just steer the conversation towards the weaknesses in the book to be really effective.
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