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Daisy's Search for Freedom Review by Laurie GaugerSeries: The Searchers Book One
History can be a dry subject for some people. I am not one of those folks, and neither is my husband, or my youngest daughter. My oldest daughter however, would rather do most anything than study history. Unless, that is, there is an exciting illustration or activity that might make the subject more palatable. Little did I know that this very review of the book, Daisy's Search for Freedom, by Bertha Schwartz, would grab her attention so beautifully.
This book is the first in a series called, The Searchers, which tells the stories of various characters, at different times in history. Even better, the author brings her faith into the tale, with God fearing characters throughout, that share the truth of God and His Word. This first one, set in the 1850's, features the harrowing account of a young slave girl, Daisy, and how she comes in contact with the legendary Underground Railroad.
I love when a story grabs you from the first few pages. The book opens with Daisy being roused from her sleep by Annabelle, the young girl that she serves. It quickly becomes apparent that Annabelle is cruel and selfish, as she berates Daisy, calling her names, and demanding that she retrieve Annabelle's breakfast, without allowing Daisy to even dress first. Daisy complies, but is elated to discover that the new cook is her own mother, from whom she had been separated from years ago. Her mother sternly warns Daisy not to reveal that they are mother and daughter, as it might bring them trouble.
Daisy is thrilled to discover that she will be going to the fair with Annabelle, but the day goes terribly wrong when Daisy encounters the hateful man, Turner, who is a ruthless slave hunter. That fateful encounter quickly leads Daisy into the world of the Underground Railroad. Joined by a frightened four year old little boy, Daisy has to face the unknown as she makes the attempt to escape her slavery. There is so much more to this story, but it would be a shame to ruin the outcome. I will say that readers will be pleased with the ending, which includes a sweet twist.
This is a softcover book, with one hundred- thirty one pages that are divided into twenty-one chapters. There are also discussion questions for each chapter, making this a wonderful addition for your studies. It is written for middle school aged kids, but I enjoyed it as much as any adult inspirational books that I have read. Many stories for that audience can be trite and hokey, but not this one. It is very well written, with a good balance of suspense and sensitivity, making it a nice way to teach the terrible reality of the history of slavery in the United States.
Since my daughters are teens, we all read the book individually, and then talked through the discussion questions together. I guessed that my thirteen year old would like it, and I was hopeful that my fourteen year old would find it engaging as well. I wasn't disappointed. When the latter child told me that she would definitely read this book again, I knew it was a winner. I cannot recommend this book enough. It would make a wonderful gift or addition to your school studies and personal library.
-Product review by Laurie Gauger, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2018