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BEYOND FREEDOM
by Patricia Q. Wall
Fall Rose Books, 2010
ISBN 0974218510 ($12)
Historical fiction, ages 10 & up
BEYOND FREEDOM, a sequel novel to CHILD OUT OF PLACE (Fall Rose Books, 2004), sheds light on another, lesser-known chapter in the early history of African Americans in New England. The book reveals not only their struggle to survive in a climate of growing racism, but their courage and perseverance as they seek to overcome that and claim their rightful place in American life.


BOSTON – July, 1812
   “It's hopeless for us,” said Matty.  “Our freedom doesn’t mean anything.  They’ll never let us belong in this country.”
   "No, no,” said her grandmother.  “You’ve just got to be patient.  It’s going to take time to change white peoples’ attitude… get their respect.”
   “Maybe,” said Great Uncle Ned.  “But I think that no matter how hard old Joshua blows his horn, there’s some walls that aren’t ever coming down.”


Five years ago, young Matty Warren Smith never dreamed of saying such a thing. When her family gained their freedom in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and moved to the North Slope Village on Beacon Hill, she was a joyful optimist. At long last, she could attend school, one for black children in a neighbor’s house, and there were lots of playmates. And, most reassuring of all, there was the welcoming nearby community center and church known as the African Meeting House.

Now, at age fifteen, she can no longer hide from disheartening truth. Certain events have made that clear. It all started with a frightening incident on Boston Common, a chance encounter with a friendly white girl and then an unexpected offer of employment in a Beacon Hill mansion. For Matty, it’s the beginning of a painful awakening.  But, before summer’s end, she will choose hope over despair.


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