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The setting for this fictional story is borrowed from a real 18th century mansion in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the MacPheadris-Warner House, now a museum.
A wooden structure, no longer attached to the back of that house, is said to have been a slaves’ quarters. However, almost nothing is known about the enslaved Africans who were held there or what they endured.
"Just because you got your freedom document, Matty, it won’t make you same as white folks," said Great Uncle Ned. "And, it won’t protect you from some kidnapping slaver, either."

Shocking words that December night in 1806. This sheltered child servant is finally being made to face reality and to learn the full story of her ancestors’ long enslavement in the old Warren mansion in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That handsome brick mansion which she has always adored, its seemingly benign white owners and even the town of Portsmouth are changed in her mind forever.

In part, CHILD OUT OF PLACE is about Matty’s struggle to hang on to her dreams, to keep believing, despite her relatives’s discouragements, that a better, happier life is possible for her.

But, this story also reveals some of a mostly hidden chapter in the history of slavery in America — the New England chapter. Far more than just a fictional story, CHILD OUT OF PLACE is an important story. Middle school students as well as adults will discover a different view of that tragic era; one seldom, if ever, mentioned in schoolbooks.
Patricia Wall has written a compelling and engaging story for young and old alike. She has captured both the pain of slavery and its aftermath and the indomitable spirit of Africans and their descendents who endured it. It is a tale that needs to be told, especially about New England......
The Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris,
Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts (retired)

"Child Out of Place: A Story of New England"
is Sold Out.

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