Almost to Freedom (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Tells the tale of a tender girl's dramatic get away from slavery through the Underground Railroad, from the point of view of her cherished rag doll.

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Additional info for Almost to Freedom (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book)

Example text

Maybe I’ll lay right here for the rest of my days. By and by, a mouse scurries over my face and into a corner. I’s glad to have the company. I pass the time listenin’ to Miz Mouse make herself a nest and raise her young’uns. I’s sorry when they finally go ‘cause I get to feelin’ lonely again. I get to thinkin’ that I best stop hopin’. Then one day, praise the Lord, the boards bein’ moved! Somebody’s comin’ down the ladder! If I’d a flesh-andblood heart, it woulda been poundin’ like Lindy’s that night we run off.

Miz Rachel tucks some bread and cheese in her apron, and she and Lindy follow Mr. Henry up the ladder. They’re scramblin’ fast, and I feel myself slippin’. Then I’m fallin’, fallin’ till I hit that dirt floor. Lindy calls my name. The silver-haired woman is closin’ up the floor. Lindy! Wait! But she can’t hear me, ‘cause I ain’t got no voice. The boards shut out the light. When the floorboards open again, sunlight shines in. The silver-haired woman comes down the ladder. “There you are,” she says, pickin’ me up.

My face don’t change, but I smiles inside, rememberin’ the cracklin’ of the straw mattress when Lindy’d roll over me in her sleep. I sure do miss her, but I’s mighty glad to be Willa’s doll baby. It’s a right important job. AUTHOR’S NOTE I WAS INSPIRED to write Almost to Freedom during a visit to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There, a display of black rag dolls from the 1800s and 1900s immediately caught my attention. “The majority of the dolls were entirely handmade from scrap cloth,” my husband read from the museum guidebook.

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