Freedom Bird

Ages: 5 - 9Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman BooksAuthor: Jerdine NolenIllustrator: James E. Ransome


From the Publisher: Brother and sister Millicent and John are slaves on Simon Plenty’s plantation and have suffered one hurt and heartbreak after another. Their parents had told them old tales of how their ancestors had flown away to freedom just as free and easy as a bird. Millicent and John hold these stories in their hearts long after their parents are gone. “Maybe such a time will come for you,” their parents said. Then one day a mysterious bird appears in their lives. The bird transforms them and gives them the courage to set their plan into motion and escape to freedom.


The power of storytelling is clear and present in Jerdine Nolen’s story Freedom Bird. James E. Ransome’s painterly illustrations provide depth and embody the silent courage it takes to face fear. One can easily imagine Anna Deavere Smith telling this story. – Parents’ Choice

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