Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Meg Follows a Dream - Sisters in Time
Author: Norma Jean Lutz
Release Date: February 2004
Genre/Sub-genre: Youth Inspirational Historical Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 8-12
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 8-12
Year/Setting: 1844, Cincinnati, OH
Overall Rating: 4.5
Norma's Website: None found
A tale of the issue of slavery and persons within the city of Cincinnati who were antislavery that worked to organize stores that would only sell products made by free people.
Meg Buehler is a 12-year-old who loves to draw and is very talented in that department. Her family including her 10-year-old brother, Fred, think that her drawing all the time is a silly thing to do and that she should be more interested in politics like the rest of them. There is growing National interest in the subject of slavery and that's something that Meg doesn't understand. It wasn't easy to try to abolish slavery in the city as slaves operated all of the cotton gins. The cotton gins are machines that separate cotton from seeds and other materials. A group of citizens opposed to slavery donated enough money to buy a cotton gin to be run by free blacks and whites. This helped stores to buy fabric that had not been touched by a slave in any part of its production. While this deed did not put slave-run gins out of business, it became one of the ways that people could fight slavery. In the middle of all this Meg is trying to get her family to back her up in her quest to draw. In the end, of course, everything comes to a head and turns out OK but Meg and her brother have some hard times before that happens.
Many of the people in this book actually lived during that time. John P. Foote brought art and culture to Cincinnati, and Robert Scott Duncanson was a free black painter whose landscapes were among the best in America during the middle of the nineteenth century. Also, in the story, William Lloyd Garrison, a leader in the movement to end slavery was featured. He worked to create the stores that only sold products made by free people, black and white. I enjoyed these Sisters in Time books much more that I thought I would. The stories, being based on real people, are very interesting and since they are true they mean more to the reader. A very good series that I would recommend to any girl and parent that enjoys history with a twist.
I'll talk to you soon,
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