Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"The Color of Freedom" by Michelle Isenhoff: YA Book Review

About the book:  Fourteen-year-old Meadow Wynn McKenzie hates the British. Turned off her Irish farm and forced to book passage to America as an indentured servant, Meadow understands why the rebels wish to throw off the yoke of King George’s rule. But is freedom worth the cost?

Then, forced to flee her master, Meadow disguises herself as a boy and takes up with a traveling tinker. While winding toward Boston to reunite with her father, she’s moved by the courage, pride and determination of the American patriots, but their Puritan roots run deep.

Before she can embrace the cause of her new homeland, Meadow must carefully consider a future amongst Puritan hatred for her Catholic beliefs. Would liberty apply to Irish, to Negroes, to Quakers, to Jews, to Catholics? Or would that slogan be cast aside when majority rule served the majority? Perhaps the colonists had simply invented a new kind of tyranny.

But war will not wait for Meadow’s decision. (Ages 12+)  (copied from Goodreads.com)

About the author:  Michelle says.... "I write for kids.  In my books, you can expect adventure and substance, but I'll always respect the innocence of our children."   (http://michelleisenhoff.com/)
My thoughts:  It is 1775 and the American Colonies are a true tempest in a teapot of strife between the British King, the loyalists (British settlers in the Colonies), and the Patriots. Folks must truly watch their words and make certain their actions don't precipitate a loss of property, livelihood, or even death.Publisher: CreateSpace (November 18, 2011) 

The Color of Freedom takes you directly into this period of American history and into the life and circumstances of young Meadow McKenzie.  This 14 year old young lady and her father lost their home in Ireland and were forced into indentured servanthood in America.  In addition to being an indentured servant, she is sold and separated from her father - the only living relative she knows.  But the young McKenzie begins to mature and this draws the unsavory and unwanted attentions of her "master."  She manages to escape and flees to Boston where she knows her father is located.

Not only does she have the stigma of being a "bought" being - an indentured servant, she is a Catholic; and Catholics are not wanted in the area near Boston.

War is at hand and so is danger.  Danger from discovery.  Danger from her religious affiliation.  Danger from the perils of war.  But Meadow proves a strong, resourceful, and clever youngster who plays a viable and valuable role in the conflict between the British and Patriots.

This is an exceptionally well written book for young adults with accurate historical background.  It is obvious that Michelle Isenhoff has garnered good facts to create a dependable historical novel of the  period.  I recommend this for school libraries, home libraries, and gifts for the young and young adult reader.  It was a pleasure to read a book well researched and absent of any vulgarities, profanities, and obsenities.
Of interest - Indentured servanthood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indentured_servant ) Workers, usually Europeans, including Irish, Scottish, English, or German immigrants, immigrated to Colonial America in substantial numbers as indentured servants, particularly to the British Thirteen Colonies. In the 17th century, nearly two-thirds of English settlers came as indentured servants, although indentured servitude was not a guaranteed route to economic autonomy. Given the high death rate, many servants did not live to the end of their terms. In the 18th and early 19th century, numerous Europeans traveled to the colonies as redemptioners, a form of indenture.
ISBN-13: 978-1466495807
I was provided a complimentary copy of The Color of Freedom by the author, Michelle Isenhoff, for review and to be placed in the Alamance Christian School library.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I haven't been able to contact you, my emails keep bouncing. So I just wanted to let you know that,Vera,You are the winner of Echoes of Titanic.
    Please respond with your snail mail address to: crazi.swans at gmail dot com
    I hope you enjoy reading it :)

    God Bless,



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