Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Trouble Don't Last

Pearsall, Shelley. 2002. Trouble Don’t Last.

Trouble has followed Samuel almost his entire life. Born a slave, he is owned by Master Hackler and life on his Kentucky farm is all he’s ever known. Raised not by parents but by fellow slaves, he learned that his mother was sold off the plantation when he was a baby. But Samuel’s luck is about to change. After being punished for breaking a plate, Samuel visits Harrison and is told to expect something big to happen that night. Fearing the worst, he goes to bed with his ‘top eye open’ like Harrison warned. The surprise--Harrison and Samuel are going to start their journey to freedom that night. At first Samuel is afraid. Afraid that they’ll never make it. Afraid of what will happen if they’re caught. When they’re caught. But Harrison reassures him by telling him to put all his fear about the journey into the pack Harrison carries on his back so he could carry it for him. And when us git there safe and sound, say I let it out, and it can float straight up into that free sky and be gone from us forever (23-24). With a few stolen items, a lot of courage, and Harrison’s secret knowledge that he’s obtained about the stops along the Underground railroad, the two begin on an unforgettable journey full of danger but also of hope. Can the pair reach Canada safely? And what kind of new life can they expect there? Are Samuel’s troubles finally over?

Trouble Don't Last page of Pearsall's site

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