I always enjoy books about people who challenge themselves, overcome difficult situations, and take their lives into their own hands in daring ways.
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When I saw Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan on the recently returned shelf at the library, I thought this would be the perfect book for me. It sat in my bedroom for four weeks before I could finally get to it because I had to finish all of my co-op class reading first.
This fictional book follows the story of Jonah Williams, a slave in South Carolina. In some ways, Jonah’s life is very good for a slave. He is a house slave, and he sits in with the plantation children while they get their school lessons. In this way, Jonah learns to read.
When he is caught taking a book from the library to read, the mistress of the house keeps his secret. She asks him to read the Bible to her every day, and she gives him his own small Bible. However, when he is 18 and the mistress is out of town, the man of the house catches Jonah reading and whips him.
Jonah’s spirit is broken; that very night, he impulsively runs away.
He is not far on his journey when he runs into a slave, Angel, in the woods taking part in “jubilee,” a party where several slaves get together and anything goes. Jonah sleeps with Angel, and in the morning when he wakes up, all of his valuables are gone.
Jonah continues his journey but soon discovers he’s no longer alone; Angel has followed him!
Throughout the book, Jonah tries desperately to rid himself of Angel and make his way north. The book follows both Jonah’s and Angel’s journey north.
While I found the book interesting, it was a bit more risque than I would have imagined. As is probably common during that time, Angel had to rely frequently on the use of her body to continue the journey north.
I enjoyed this book, I appreciated the adventure, but it was a bit more of a fluff book than I’m used to reading.
I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.