Lillie's papa believed in freedom-for him, his family, and all the slaves on the Greenfog plantation. So when the Confederate Army promised freedom to the family of every slave who served in the Civil War-whether they came home or not-Lillie's papa decided he had to take the chance.
But when Lillie's family got the news that her papa was killed, they weren't freed. The army claimed that Lillie's papa was a thief. Lillie knew that couldn't be true! Even worse, the master started making plans to sell off Lillie's little brother, Plato. With the help of an old slave, Bett, who bakes bread that bends time, Lillie travels to the battle during which her father died to find out the true story. Using a little magic of her own, Lillie rights a few wrongs and buys her family their freedom. This is a beautiful tale filled with magic and hope and love.
In a quiet story that builds steam as it unfolds, 14-year-old slave Lillie undertakes incredible risks and defies time itself to save her six-year-old brother, Plato, from being sold at auction at Greenfog plantation, the only home they've ever known. By all accounts, Lillie, Plato, and their mother should be free, since her father fought for the Confederacy and died at Vicksburg, just four months earlier. However, when her deceased father is accused of having stolen money from another plantation, their freedom is denied, leaving Lillie and Plato in danger of being sold. Spirited, strong-willed Lillie and Bett, a wise and gentle slave who can bend time through her baking, set out to prove Lillie's father's innocence and save her family. Kluger (Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats) adeptly mixes drama, fantasy, romance, and history, while creating characters so determined to survive that readers can't help being drawn into their plights. In a climax that breaks with reality but that will keep readers hungry to learn the outcome, Kluger proves his storytelling prowess. Ages 9 up.