"Powerful storytelling and immersive art." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Vibrant writing and magical realism lift this story to one of triumph." —Publishers Weekly "Nolen's lively prose style recalls the richness of the oral tradition in this tale of triumphant courage and abiding hope." —The Horn Book "A moving choice for children's collections." —Booklist A Parents' Choice Silver Award Recipient
In this inspiring story in the tradition of American black folktales, an enslaved brother and sister are inspired by a majestic and mysterious bird to escape to freedom in this dramatic and unforgettable picture book. There was nothing civil about that war. They should have called it what it was: a big, bad war.
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.