My Home Is Over Jordan: Sequel to ""Sound the Jubilee""

Sandra Forrester, Author Dutton Books $15.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-525-67568-6
Picking up soon after Sound the Jubilee ends, the story of formerly enslaved Maddie Henry and her extended family moves into the Reconstruction Era. Here the family travels across North Carolina without Maddie's father, a casualty of the war, to find land to buy and farm. Unlike many black families at this time who were forced to work as sharecroppers, the Henrys do find a white man who sells them some land outright. Once settled, Maddie finds satisfaction caring for a half-wild child she rescues from a former plantation and as assistant to a teacher, a black woman who is a graduate of Oberlin. Her new life brings different challenges to the strong-willed but sensitive Maddie: she rejects a marriage offer from a long-time friend and endures racist epithets in town. Soon, some local whites strike out at the teacher and the growing black community; though the violence stops short of killing, they do drive the teacher away. Maddie's brother, whose rebellious feelings have simmered throughout the story, commits a crime and must flee North to safety. Deferring her dream of a college education in the North, Maddie does not join him. She decides instead that her family and community need her, a decision readers may find neither entirely satisfying or believable, but it keeps her home for a further sequel. This historical novel may help children imagine life for Maddie's family, though it softens some of the harshest realities of the times. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-17865-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-28579-7
Paperback - 163 pages - 978-0-14-038802-2
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