Friday, October 15, 2010
"He clamped his hands over his ears, but it didn’t block the high-pitched screams from the barn. He knew they would stop. They always did. Yet the silence scared David even more, knowing Pa would seek a new victim next time."
Have you ever gone against your family to do what's right?
In this her first historical story picture book, The Golden Pathway, Donna McDine explores the ethical dilemma of a young boy named David as he turns against his father in order to follow his own sense of justice.
Set during the time of the civil war, David's story begins one night when he hears his father give yet another cruel beating to Jenkins, a 16-year old slave. Though David knows his duty is to obey his Pa, his conscience tells him that what his Pa is doing is plain wrong. Scared, yet filled with bravery and compassion, David decides to finally put a stop to it and free the teen slave. Will he succeed?
The Golden Pathway is an engrossing, moving story that celebrates freedom and courage. It is suspenseful; it kept me wondering what the outcome would be, and how a little boy would be able to free a slave. Not an easy task! The language flows beautifully, with just the right balance of narration, description and dialogue. The author also uses sensory details to create a vivid picture. The illustrations by Oregonian artist K.C. Snider are beautiful and evocative, further bringing David's world to life. I liked the emotion conveyed in most of the artwork, especially the face expressions of David and Jenkins. This is also a touching story of friendship.
The book, aimed at kids 8-12, is perfect for class discussions about slavery, the Civil War, and the Underground Railroad. It's also one parents should read to their kids. I would feel very comfortable reading this book to kids as young as 6. It's never too early to teach kids about justice and compassion.
Purchase the book from the publisher or Amazon HERE.
Be sure to watch the trailer. It's pretty awesome!