Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden.
Mariah and her little brother Zeke are freed from slavery and the life they have only known. Mariah for years yearned to be free from her Master and when suddenly freed, joins Sherman’s army on their march through Georgia. Mariah meets a free black, Caleb and begins a friendship with a possibility of a new free life together. This story is based on a real life event which is not known to many, until now.
Ms. Bolden draws the reader into this true event. The reader quickly gets drawn into the character Mariah’s journey on the march and her struggles to her new found freedom on the road. The friendship between Caleb and Mariah builds throughout the story. Teen readers will be drawn into the budding romance of Caleb and Mariah. Ms. Bolden writes in such a way that the readers can start to feel like they are along for the journey throughout Georgia. The ending is shocking but done tastefully.
This read makes the civil war feel a little more personable and might spark additional study of this event and the personal effect of the civil war on the persons of this time period. This book would be a great discussion on how the war touched both sides of the war and the impact upon the free black and slaves. Hand this book to fans of historical fiction or readers who enjoyed Laurie Halse Anderson’s Seeds of America series.
Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Bloomsbury USA Childrens for an honest review.