Sherman, Delia. The Freedom Maze. Candlewick Press, 2014. $6.99. ISBN 9780763669751. 255 pgs. Ages 10-12. P7Q8.
In 1960, Sophie is a thirteen year old girl who isn’t happy about spending the summer at her grandmother’s place (an old plantation near New Orleans) on the bayou. Sophie is unhappy about her parents’ divorce, and is bored and lonely. She spends time outdoors clearing out an old maze, and makes a wish that her life was more interesting. Her wish is granted by a strange trickster character, and she ends up going back 100 years to experience life on the family plantation. She is mistaken for a slave, and lives live as a slave for her ancestors for an extended period before being returned to 1960. I liked this book a lot. Sophie grows up a great deal over the 6 month period in the past, and learns an enormous amount about prioritizing things in your life, what it means to have no control over your fate, standing up to the powers that be when possible, and about human dignity. This book could be a good introduction to the topic of slavery for young readers.
June 2016 review by Carol Schramm.