Monday, August 1, 2016
Book Club Pick: Chasing the North Star
by Robert Morgan
Algonquin of Chapel Hill
Chasing the North Star is brilliantly brought to life by master storyteller Robert Morgan.
It is the story of two slaves who use their wits and rely on the kindness (sometimes) of strangers to reach the free states where they will not face the wrath of the whip or the cruelty of a life of slavery. Eighteen year old Jonah escapes after a beating from his master. He is whipped for stealing a book from the master's library. Jonah had borrowed the book to read, but cannot admit it because slaves are forbidden to learn to read even though the mistress of the house taught Jonah and encouraged him to read the Bible. Jonah takes off one night in a rainstorm and begins his long journey North.
He encounters a slave woman at a Jubilee, and she decides to follow him. If he can seek freedom, why can't she? Jonah does not want a companion, and decides to ditch her as soon as possible. Thank goodness Angel does not give up easily and manages to follow Jonah and catch up with him at a jail where she helps him break free once again.
Breathless and harrowing, Chasing the North Star will tug at the heartstrings. It is full of life, heart, strength and spirit. Readers won't easily forget Jonah and his tenacity. This book should be on the reading list for any program featuring the American South. Students of history should be forever grateful to Robert Morgan who is able to take a period of American history and catch all its brutality and fear, yet tell that same story with bravery, insight and compassion.
Readers will love Jonah and his can-do attitude.
Highly, highly recommended adult readers and recommended for book clubs.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.