Martha and the Slave Catchers has finally made her debut, and she is very beautiful. As you can see from the book cover image, the original colors have been darkened to a red-orange which really pop. Below are some very positive reviews. Also, please be sure to check out “The Facts Behind Martha and the Slave Catchers” on my website and the Study Guide on the Seven Stories Press site. Catherine Franklin did a wonderful job with the study guide, and I think it will offer many ideas for teachers who might like to use the book and parents who want to take their children deeper into the real world of slavery and the antislavery movement.
The book is available through many on-line sellers and in a number of libraries. Please recommend it to your local library and book store. With many thanks.
Excerpts from Reviews of Martha and the Slave Catchers:
“Alonso pens an informative, easy-to-follow adventure story that nevertheless tackles the persistent issues arising from antebellum America, including race and skin color, situational ethics and their devastating consequences, and allyship and using privilege for justice. A tense adventure about interracial adoption that gets to the heart of what’s most important: love.”
Donald Peebles, in School Library Journal:
“Alonso and Zunon have both done a masterful job bringing America’s pre-Civil War years to the page. Readers will sit in suspense as Martha risks her life in the Underground Railroad network. . . The loose ends in this slave narrative leave the door open to a sequel. VERDICT: Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Seeds of America” series will want to pick this up.”
Melanie Dulaney, on Goodreads:
“Author Harriet Alonso writes a gripping piece of historical fiction from a slightly different perspective as other Underground Railroad themed books . . . an excellent choice for students who are interested in Civil Rights, the Civil War, the abolitionist movement, the Underground Railroad and key figures in that historic period. The characters are vivid and the action is fast-paced. I would highly recommend this book to readers in the 5th-8th grade.”
From the Mixed-Up Files . . . of Middle Grade Authors:
“Alonso combines fiction and historical fact to weave a suspenseful story of courage, hope and self-discovery in the aftermath of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, while illuminating the bravery of abolitionists who fought against slavery.”
Elisa Carbone, author of Stealing Freedom:
“The complexities of mid-1800s slave laws and racial attitudes are captured within the pages of a riveting adventure story. The fast-paced plot, filled with twists and surprises, will engage readers and spark discussion of these important issues. Alonso breathes life into the sights, sounds, and emotions of travel on the Underground Railroad.”
Margaret Meacham, author of Oyster Moon
“Harriet Alonso’s gripping tale is steeped in period detail. . . Readers will come away with a clearer understanding of the horrors of slavery, and a greater appreciation for the bravery of those who fought against it. . . Anyone who loves an exciting read and likes learning a bit of history on the way will love this book.”
Jerdine Nolen, author of Eliza’s Freedom Road
“With the backdrop of the horrors of a time in turmoil, through an unjust and cruel system, I learned more about the capacity and self-discovery of the human heart. This novel is a true hero’s journey—about love, bravery, the constancy of family, loss, history, and hope. This is a story about a time and the people who lived through those times we all need to read and know.”
Virginia Frances Schwartz, author of If I Just Had Two Wings
“Middle graders will love the spunk of Martha, the heroine of this novel. . . Rooted in abolitionist history, full of page-turning suspense, mystery, and inner conflict, Martha and the Slave Catchers depicts the disastrous aftermath of the passing of the 1850’s Fugitive Slave Act.