Run Away Home

by Patricia C. McKissack

In 1888, Apache Indians who had been held as prisoners of war in Florida were transported... read more

In 1888, Apache Indians who had been held as prisoners of war in Florida were transported to Alabama. Patricia McKissack's own great-great-great grandfather was a Native American whose tribal ancestry remains undetermined, and in Run Away Home she has written a story based on "what might have been"as she imagines the meeting between a fictional Apache boy and a rural African-American family in Alabama at that time. The novel is told from the point of view of 11-year-old Sarah Crossman, an African-American child who lives with her mother and father on a small farm. When an Apache boy escapes from the train transport and hides in the Crossman family barn, Sarah discovers him and he is sheltered and cared for by her parents. At first Sarah is jealous of Sky and the attention he receives from both her parents, but he soon becomes like an older brother to her. Sky's values and way of life blend with those of Sarah's family, and he stands with them when white supremacists who are angered and threatened by the very idea of a Black man voting or Black families who are economically independent present a danger. A strong African-American family and community whose understanding of freedom embraces the desire for self-determination of an American Indian child and his people form the strong foundation of this novel. (Ages 10-12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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