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Chasing the Nightbird
by Krista Russell


Overview - Fourteen-year-old Lucky Valera is a seasoned sailor about to join the crew of the whaling ship, Nightbird. But when his estranged older brother suddenly kidnaps him and forces him into servitude as a mule spinner at the mill, his life takes a dramatic turn for the worse.  Read more...

 
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More About Chasing the Nightbird by Krista Russell
 
 
 
Overview
Fourteen-year-old Lucky Valera is a seasoned sailor about to join the crew of the whaling ship, Nightbird. But when his estranged older brother suddenly kidnaps him and forces him into servitude as a mule spinner at the mill, his life takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Determined to escape, Lucky links up with some unlikely allies: Daniel, a fugitive slave who works alongside him at the mill, and Emmeline, a Quaker ship captains daughter. Emmeline offers Lucky passage on her fathers ship in exchange for his help leading escaped slaves through the Underground Railroad, but Lucky knows getting out from under his brother wont be easy. When their plans go awry and Daniel is threatened by ruthless slave catchers, Lucky discovers that true freedom requires self-sacrifice, and he comes eventually to realize he is part of a larger movement from which he cannot run away.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781561455973
  • ISBN-10: 1561455970
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publ
  • Publish Date: September 2011
  • Page Count: 200
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-13
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Action & Adventure - General
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Historical - United States - Civil War Period (1850-1877)

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-08-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

Russell’s first novel takes place in 1851, a turbulent and significant year in the diverse port town of New Bedford, Mass. Fourteen-year-old Lucky is a Cape Verdean raised on his father’s whaling ship, Nightbird, until his father dies and his estranged “lowdown, barnacle-scrapin’ scalawag” of an older brother, Fernando Fortuna, “shanghais” him. Fernando forces Lucky to work at the dangerous textile mill to settle their father’s debt with him, leaving Lucky crestfallen, his dream of being the best rigger on the eastern seaboard suffocated a little more each day. When Lucky meets Daniel, a fugitive slave, and Emmeline Rowland, a Quaker captain’s daughter who offers him a place on her uncle’s ship, Lucky is pulled unwillingly into the abolitionist movement and forced to look beyond himself. Without slowing the story’s pace, Russell gives readers plenty to think about regarding the turbulent racial dynamics of the period—Lucky, who is dark-skinned yet free, initially sees little connection between his life and the plight of slaves. Strong-willed and good-hearted, Lucky is an especially vibrant hero in this multifaceted and suspenseful historical adventure. Ages 10–14. (Sept.)

 
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