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Run away home /

In 1886 in Alabama, an eleven-year-old African American girl and her family befriend and give refuge to a runaway Apache boy. Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Scholastic, 1997
Edition: First edition.
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In 1886 in Alabama, an eleven-year-old African American girl and her family befriend and give refuge to a runaway Apache boy.

Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. She had seen the young Apache escape from the train, but 11-year-old Sarah Crossman is surprised when he appears in the family barn. She and her parents nurse the frightened, feverish "Sky" back to health, come to understand and care for him, and realize they should report him to authorities. The African American Crossmans have preconceptions about Indians, but they also endure severe prejudice in 1888 Alabama. Threatened by white supremacists, they valiantly struggle to keep their farm and protect Sky. The generally fast-paced story flags occasionally when information-heavy dialogue intrudes. Characters are either very good or really awful, but the Crossmans are a wonderfully warm, courageous family. The happy ending ties things up too neatly, but this story is fine for the undemanding reader who wants an old-fashioned, feel-good saga. --Linda Perkins

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this intriguing historical novel, which was inspired by the author's research into her own ancestry, an African American family in Alabama takes in an Apache runaway teenager in the late 1800s. The story centers on 12-year-old Sarah Jane Crossman, her father (a former slave turned farmer) and her part-Seminole mother. Although slavery has ended, old attitudes die hard in the South, and the three struggle daily to protect their land from prejudiced and greedy Sheriff Johnson (who relentlessly pesters them with unfair share-cropping propositions). One day they find a 15-year-old Apache named Sky in their barn, sick with a fever. They nurse him back to health and convince the authorities to release him into their care. McKissack's (Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?) multidimensional storytelling chronicles the complex relationship between Sky, the Crossmans, the African American community and the white community, resulting in an exciting, tension-packed page-turner. The novel's climax scene, in which Apaches, white Army soldiers, and African American neighbors join together to defend the Crossmans' property, seems a bit Utopian for the era, but readers will cheer for Sky as he leads the defense of "his family's land" against a white supremacist group. McKissack's skillful presentation of the obstacles confronting minorities after the Civil War makes this not only a captivating tale, but a comprehensive introduction to a pivotal period in U.S. history. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8‘It's 1888 in Alabama, and Sarah Crossman, the 12-year-old daughter of a Seminole woman and a freed slave, finds herself shielding an Apache boy who has escaped federal troops during the transport of Geronimo's followers to Mount Vernon. Her mother immediately sides with her and proceeds to nurse the unconscious Sky, but her father remains opposed. Mr. Crossman has already invited attention because he owns land coveted by others, refuses to be a sharecropper, and assists other blacks in passing nearly impossible voter registration tests. He relents when George Wratten, army scout and interpreter for the Apaches, gives an unofficial consent for the boy to remain until he is well enough to travel. As Sky begins to recover, his fierce, independent demeanor lessens as he warms to the girl's parents, but Sarah doesn't like sharing their attention with someone who is so aloof from her. Other challenges arise when boll weevils destroy the cotton crop, the sheriff calls in the note of debt on the farm, and a hooded white supremacist group arrives on the scene. Based on Wratten's papers and other historical sources, as well as the oral tradition of McKissack's family, the story evolves exquisitely. Attention is even given to the debate about what is most important for the empowerment of an oppressed people: political rights or economic progress. Grabbing readers with wonderful characters, an engaging plot, and vital themes, McKissack weaves a compelling story of cultural clash, tragedy, accommodation, and ultimate triumph.‘Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Patricia C. McKissack was born in Smyrna, Tennessee on August 9, 1944. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Tennessee State University in 1964 and a master's degree in early childhood literature and media programming from Webster University in 1975. After college, she worked as a junior high school English teacher and a children's book editor at Concordia Publishing.

Since the 1980's, she and her husband Frederick L. McKissack have written over 100 books together. Most of their titles are biographies with a strong focus on African-American themes for young readers. Their early 1990s biography series, Great African Americans included volumes on Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. Their other works included Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers and Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States. Over their 30 years of writing together, the couple won many awards including the C.S. Lewis Silver Medal, a Newbery Honor, nine Coretta Scott King Author and Honor awards, the Jane Addams Peace Award, and the NAACP Image Award for Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?. In 1998, they received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

She also writes fiction on her own. Her book included Flossie and the Fox, Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt, A Friendship for Today, and Let's Clap, Jump, Sing and Shout; Dance, Spin and Turn It Out! She won the Newberry Honor Book Award and the King Author Award for The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural in 1993 and the Caldecott Medal for Mirandy and Brother Wind. She dead of cardio-respiratory arrest on April 7, 2017 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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