“Freewater” Shares Homer’s History

by | Jun 2024

Freewater Book Cover

Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson, a Newbery and Coretta Scott King award-winning book, is officially a middle grade novel (ages 8–12), but it makes an excellent read for anyone and is particularly apropos this month in honor of Juneteenth.

Inspired by fascinating and eye-opening historical facts, this story follows Homer, as well as a handful of other youth, who find freedom from enslavement not in the North, but in a secret community hidden in the Great Dismal Swamp. Freewater is the name of a fictional community, but in true historical fact, many of the formerly enslaved found freedom not far from the plantations they escaped from and built lives there.

This novel sheds light on a little-known piece of history while simultaneously bringing to life characters readers of many ages will feel for and engage with.

Raela Schoenherr works in marketing at a publishing company and is a lifelong lover of books and reading.


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