By Freedom's Light Paper
To thirteen-year-old Sarah Caldwell, everything in Indiana is dark--the bug-filled cabin, the woods engulfing the farm, and especially the future. She is far from her beloved sister, Rachel, who stayed in North Carolina when their family moved. Their widowed father has married Eliza, a young Quaker schoolteacher, and Sarah has just discovered that Eliza is an abolitionist! Sarah believes she must tell her father about the secret, unlawful activities Eliza's sewing circle performs at Levi and Catherine Coffin's home. Yet when Sarah learns her sister will be visiting Indiana with her husband and baby, happiness and anticipation overcome her concern about Eliza. Rachel's family soon arrives, bringing Polly, a slave girl about Sarah's age. Thrown together to do farm chores and look after Rachel's baby, the two girls, white and black, free and enslaved, slowly develop a friendship. Between Polly's company and that of her extended family, Sarah's world brightens. Meanwhile, Sarah begins to question her beliefs about slavery. When bounty hunters nearly kidnap Polly, Sarah worries for her safety. Tensions mount within the cramped household as it appears that her brother-in-law may trade Polly's future for his family's prosperity. Ultimately, Sarah is faced with a bitter decision that could change forever the lives of her family.
Ages 8-12. Paperback. 188 pages. 2009, Indiana Historical Society Press. By Elizabeth O'Maley.