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Unbound: A Novel in Verse
Unbound: A Novel in Verse | Ann E Burg
27 posts | 13 read | 18 to read
The day Grace is called from the slave cabins to work in the Big House, Mama makes her promise to keep her eyes down. Uncle Jim warns her to keep her thoughts tucked private in her mind or they could bring a whole lot of trouble and pain. But the more Grace sees of the heartless Master and hateful Missus, the more a rightiness voice clamors in her head-asking how come white folks can own other people, sell them on the auction block, and separate families forever. When that voice escapes without warning, it sets off a terrible chain of events that prove Uncle Jim's words true. Suddenly, Grace and her family must flee deep into the woods, where they brave deadly animals, slave patrollers, and the uncertainty of ever finding freedom. With candor and compassion, Ann E. Burg sheds light on a startling chapter of American history--the remarkable story of runaways who sought sanctuary in the Great Dismal Swamp--and creates a powerful testament to the right of every human to be free.
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Question 11 #mgbuddyread

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Question 10 #mgbuddyread

Amie I can't really say if she did it well. I do feel like we have enough books by white people about slavery. We need more books by African Americans about all aspects of their history and experiences in this country, including slavery but also so many other experiences. 1y
Chelsibno I definitely agree with @amie on this one. While I enjoyed this book, I‘m not sure I could judge with any authority on whether or not the author portrayed the experiences of a slave “well”. Like amie, I do think that we already have enough books written about the African American experience from the perspectives of white authors. We need more people of color writing about their cultures‘ histories & experiences. 1y
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Question 9 #mgbuddyread

Chelsibno Through the journey, I think Grace gains a better understanding of how tough & unfair her world is. She also comes to realize that all people matter & deserve freedom, never buying into the master & mistress‘s ideas that certain people are worthless & are undeserving of freedom. 1y
Lmstraubie @Chelsibno Part of me hopes that she eventually is able to use her feisty personality to make a difference in her world. 1y
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Question 8 #mgbuddyread

Chelsibno I like to think they lived peacefully in the Deep Swamp for several years, with Grace & her family learning how to read & write from Brooklyn. After several years had passed & the boys had grown older, I‘d like to think that Grace & her family eventually made a journey north to freedom, perhaps to New York or Canada, where they might have more choices & opportunities. 1y
Lmstraubie @Chelsibno I'd like to think they eventually made it north as well as a family. 1y
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Question 7 #mgbuddyread

Amie My comment seems to have disappeared so I'll try again. Nothing about Anna's situation was good but it's conceivable that it could have been worse in another place. 1y
Chelsibno It could go either way. It‘s awful that Anna has to tend to the master‘s wife who abuses Anna & never shows her any kindness. However, I could easily see Anna in an even worse situation if she were sold to a different master. While her current situation is terrible, there‘s nothing that would guarantee her better treatment under another‘s ownership. 1y
Lmstraubie @amie @Chelsibno I guess she was guaranteed a place, but that didn't make her place any better. 1y
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Question 6 #mgbuddyread

Chelsibno Aunt Sarah shows herself to be a valued member of Grace‘s family. She takes care of the children with great patience & wisdom. She imparts sage advice unto Grace. While hiding out, she recognizes a venomous snake & knows just what should be done to keep it from striking out at anyone. 1y
Lmstraubie @Chelsibno @amie Again I think it goes back to life & survival skills. Aunt Sarah had them both. 1y
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Question 5 #mgbuddyread

Chelsibno While Jordan could pass for white appearance-wise, I assumed that he was caught due to some small action that might have given away his true identity. I remember reading about William & Ellen Craft‘s escape. Ellen was really only 1/8th black & could pass for white. However, in planning their escape, the couple had to disguise her & think up many different things that could give them away & how to avoid rousing suspicion. The big give-away would... 1y
Chelsibno Writing & reading, since most slaves could not read or write. Small mannerisms that are engrained in us from a young age but that we rarely think about could also be a dead-giveaway to someone‘s true background. 1y
Lmstraubie @chelsibno @amie I wonder if they knew he had escaped from another family. He seemed to be given a lot of space as though he was trusted to a degree. 1y
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Question 4 #mgbuddyread

Chelsibno I think Aunt Tempie‘s true character is unfailingly kind. She secretly lends help to escaped slaves on a seemingly regular basis, while attending to her duties & keeping up a facade of a good slave who never goes against her masters‘ orders. 1y
Lmstraubie @Chelsibno @amie I really think that Aunt Tempie was one of the bravest characters in the book. She was constantly swallowing her pride, but at the same time putting herself in the line of trouble to help others. 1y
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Question 3 #mgbuddyread

Amie It didn't seem like Grace guessed who her father was, but I'm sure the wife knew. Probably all of the adults knew. 1y
Chelsibno Grace seems or at least gives off the appearance that she is completely unaware of who her father is. However, I‘m sure all of the adults, including the mistress, were well aware of it. In fact, I think any reader who pays attention to the story‘s descriptions & has even a passing knowledge of slave life in the American South could easily guess the identity of Grace‘s biological father. 1y
Lmstraubie @amie @Chelsibno I wonder if the author chose not to outright give this information because it is a book written for children. I don't know that there would be a child-friendly way to explain it. 1y
Amie @Lmstraubie @Chelsibno I agree that it would be pretty difficult to incorporate that in an appropriate way in a kids book. 1y
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Question 2 #mgbuddyread

Chelsibno Most of the enslaved characters learn more about their world from observation & experience. Characters like Aunt Sarah, Aunt Tempie, & Uncle Jim seem much wiser & capable than their white owners. The man who helps Grace & her family escape has figured out ways to elude & fool slave hunters. By the end of the book, we even see a young black boy who taught himself to read through observation & secret practice. 1y
Lmstraubie @Chelsibno @amie They may not have had "book smarts," but they were definitely life smart. 1y
Peddler410 @Lmstraubie I like the idea of “street smarts”. 1y
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Question 1 #mgbuddyread

Amie They were still not completely free because they still lacked choices and options. Certainly it was better than being enslaved, but still not true freedom. 1y
Chelsibno I agree with @amie on this issue. Just because slaves escaped from their masters does not mean they have true freedom. Without the freedoms to make choices & have options open to them, life may not truly be led to its fullest. 1y
Lmstraubie @amie @Chelsibno I find it amazing that they were able to create a life there. I kept wondering if they ever heard news from the "outside." They weren't living as slaves, but they still weren't free either. 1y
Peddler410 @Chelsibno @amie @Lmstraubie I agree with all of you. 1y
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Hello #mgbuddyread littens! It's time for this month's discuss. Join in when you can and remember to tag anyone you are responding to!

Peddler410 I‘m so sorry! I really thought I would have finished reading. I had oral surgery yesterday and pain meds had me sleeping more than I expected. 1y
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Calling all #mgbuddyread participants - it seems many of you were unable to read this month's selection. Please LMK if you are planning are participating in the discussion on Saturday. I completely understand how life just gets crazy. I just don't want to fill the feed with discussion questions if no one is able to participate. Thanks!

Daisey I did not read it. I‘ve had little reading time and am barely keeping up with some other commitments, so I didn‘t get a chance to even look for a copy of this one. July may likely be the same. 1y
TheBookHippie I did read it BUT I'll be protesting Saturday for the Families Belong Together March. This book was lovely!!!!! I'm so glad I read it. I'll be buying more copies. 1y
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Peddler410 I plan to read it tonight and tomorrow so I will be able to participate. 1y
erzascarletbookgasm I couldn‘t get a copy of the book, sorry I‘m out again this month. 😔 1y
Amie I read it, but it's fine with me if the discussion gets postponed if there's not enough to participate. 1y
Chelsibno I‘m about halfway through it. I plan on finishing it tomorrow, so I can participate in the discussion. 1y
Lmstraubie @daisey No worries 😊 Join back in when you can! 1y
Lmstraubie @TheBookHippie You are amazing!!! Let your voice be heard! You can always share your thoughts at a later time 🙂 1y
Lmstraubie @erzascarletbookgasm I'm sorry you couldn't get this one either 😕 Hopefully the next one! 1y
Lmstraubie @Peddler410 @amie @Chelsibno It looks like we have a party! I will go ahead and post questions on Saturday morning. Just LMK if anything changes 😬 1y
TheBookHippie @Lmstraubie I'll get to them when I get home unless I'm detained 😂🤣then send bail money 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻HA. 1y
Lmstraubie @TheBookHippie I'm starting a collection now...just in case 😉🤣 1y
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Pickpick

I'm looking forward to our #mgbuddyread discussion on Saturday about this book. I don't want to say much until then, but we'll worth the read.

merelybookish I'm a bit overextended lately and been missing the #mgbuddyread. Hopefully I can join back in this fall. This books looks good! 1y
Lmstraubie @merelybookish Sorry things have been crazy for you. I hope you can join us again soon!! I thought this was a good one. 1y
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Lmstraubie
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I've started this month's #mgbuddyread. Decided to do this one on audio for #litsyatoz. It has not disappointed.

Lmstraubie @Mdargusch I think you may like it. It's definitely told as a story. I got it from Hoopla. 1y
Mdargusch I might have to try it then. 1y
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Our next two #mgbuddyread books. We will be discussing Unbound on Saturday, June 30th starting at 10:00. Join us!

Mdargusch I have to confess that I skipped this month. I wasn‘t feeling the novel written in verse. I‘ll aim for next month though. 1y
Lmstraubie @Mdargusch We'll miss you 😕 but no point in reading something that isn't hitting the mark. 1y
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Who likes middle grade books (books written for 8-12 year olds)? Join us for the next #mgbuddyread on June 30th. We'll be discussing Unbound by Ann E. Burg

TheBookHippie I'm catching up!!!!! End of school was crazy!!!!!! Oye. 1y
Lmstraubie @TheBookHippie I know the feeling!!! 🙃 1y
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HippieChickHomeschool
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Pickpick

Middle grade slave narrative. A tough subject for young tender hearts, but this does a good job of balancing the horror with a happy ending. (The family manages to escape to a swamp, the author's note at the end is very informative and should not be skipped) Narrated by Bahni Turpin, who just can't be missed.

starrdom I ❤️ Bahni too!! Have you listened to her narration of The Hate U Give? 2y
HippieChickHomeschool @starrdom I read The Hate U Give before I realized Bahni was the narrator! I'm so tempted to by the audio just so I can listen to her! 2y
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Onlaughterandliteracy
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Another great novel in verse: Unbound. ❤❤ #teachersoflitsy #litsyAtoZ

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Eggs
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Just finished. I've read several books written in verse recently; I like!

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Johanna414
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Pickpick

The writing in this book was so beautiful. There may have been some tears shed...

OceanCityMama Gorgeous cover! 3y
21 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Johanna414
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When you have to leave the restaurant ad sit in the car so your little can nap while your entire family has dinner... Thank god for that habit of ALWAYS having a book on hand!

britt_brooke ☺️💕 3y
LeahBergen Awww. 💗💗 3y
Suzze Oh, I could look at that face for ages. 💕💕💕 3y
LauraBeth Oh - I remember those days - and I miss them 😀 enjoy that sweet baby ❤️ 3y
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Johanna414
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Sometimes knowin stuff's
as important as doin stuff.

Everybody's got a worth.

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Johanna414
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Today is a good day at work :)

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javadiva
Pickpick

I was so impressed by how the author wrote about oppression through a young child's eyes. I didn't expect to feel adrenaline and fear for the people running towards freedom. Burg opened my eyes to what it could have been like to try to survive in a swamp. And now I want to read everything about the maroons.

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Peddler410
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I love novels in verse.

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