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Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons: An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom

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Soon after American colonists had won independence from Great Britain, Ona Judge was fighting for her own freedom from one of America's most famous founding fathers, George Washington. George and Martha Washington valued Ona as one of their most skilled and trustworthy slaves, but she would risk everything to achieve complete freedom. Born into slavery at Mount Vernon, Ona Soon after American colonists had won independence from Great Britain, Ona Judge was fighting for her own freedom from one of America's most famous founding fathers, George Washington. George and Martha Washington valued Ona as one of their most skilled and trustworthy slaves, but she would risk everything to achieve complete freedom. Born into slavery at Mount Vernon, Ona seized the opportunity to escape when she was brought to live in the President's Mansion in Philadelphia. Ona fled to New Hampshire and started a new life. But the Washingtons wouldn't give up easily. After her escape, Ona became the focus of a years-long manhunt, led by America's first president. Gwendolyn Hooks' vivid and detailed prose captures the danger, uncertainty, and persistence Ona Judge experienced during and after her heroic escape.


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Soon after American colonists had won independence from Great Britain, Ona Judge was fighting for her own freedom from one of America's most famous founding fathers, George Washington. George and Martha Washington valued Ona as one of their most skilled and trustworthy slaves, but she would risk everything to achieve complete freedom. Born into slavery at Mount Vernon, Ona Soon after American colonists had won independence from Great Britain, Ona Judge was fighting for her own freedom from one of America's most famous founding fathers, George Washington. George and Martha Washington valued Ona as one of their most skilled and trustworthy slaves, but she would risk everything to achieve complete freedom. Born into slavery at Mount Vernon, Ona seized the opportunity to escape when she was brought to live in the President's Mansion in Philadelphia. Ona fled to New Hampshire and started a new life. But the Washingtons wouldn't give up easily. After her escape, Ona became the focus of a years-long manhunt, led by America's first president. Gwendolyn Hooks' vivid and detailed prose captures the danger, uncertainty, and persistence Ona Judge experienced during and after her heroic escape.

30 review for Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons: An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    An exceptional story, but the artwork looks very amateur and the text is set in an unattractive manner. The overall product looks like a middle school project. Kids today are expecting a high level of quality and this book just does not measure up. Thank you to Capstone and NetGalley for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is truly an amazing story. We forget, because we like to make the founding fathers such wonderful men, that many of them kept slaves, including George Washington. Ona Judge was one of his house slaves that he took to Philadelphia, when she was president, in fact. This picture book is the simplified story of how she managed to escape capture, after she ran away. And remember that an enslaved person did not become free, simply by running away. They remained a slave, even while living in a free This is truly an amazing story. We forget, because we like to make the founding fathers such wonderful men, that many of them kept slaves, including George Washington. Ona Judge was one of his house slaves that he took to Philadelphia, when she was president, in fact. This picture book is the simplified story of how she managed to escape capture, after she ran away. And remember that an enslaved person did not become free, simply by running away. They remained a slave, even while living in a free state. Washington did not take well to having lost her, and tried several times to get her back. A great picture book to show the underside of one of the founding fathers, as well as a very smart woman. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    1,5/5. Another book with a great message on an important person i history but unfortunately that isn't enough to make a good book. The illustration are very children-made like which didn't please me at all and the story was written in a way that didn't captivate the reader at all either. Also there is way too much text, in long paragraph and all, for the targeted reader age.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jamila

    The story of Ona Judge is fascinating. This picture book biography will allow children to both learn about Judge and develop a stronger more complex understanding of enslavement in the U.S.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Goehmann

    Ona’s story is one of tenacity. I appreciated a more complete look at a piece of American History and the Washington’s household. I was not in love with the illustrations and typeface, which is maybe a weird personal preference.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christina Carter

    Through Gwendolyn Hooks's evocative account, the reader comes to know Ona Judge and her fight for freedom. From her childhood in Virginia where she and her family were enslaved, working tirelessly on Mount Vernon alongside others who were also considered the property of George and Martha Washington. To her journey (apart from most of her family) when she was chosen to travel to New York City with the Washingtons when George Washington had been elected president of the United States. Then on to P Through Gwendolyn Hooks's evocative account, the reader comes to know Ona Judge and her fight for freedom. From her childhood in Virginia where she and her family were enslaved, working tirelessly on Mount Vernon alongside others who were also considered the property of George and Martha Washington. To her journey (apart from most of her family) when she was chosen to travel to New York City with the Washingtons when George Washington had been elected president of the United States. Then on to Philadephia, Pennsylvania when the president was relocated, where she started to see free Black people and learned of those who argued against slavery. She saw women there who worked and made their own money, women who "proved freedom was possible." She needed to run away! It was a risky thing to consider but she did it, "with jumbled nerves and a racing heart, Ona wrapped herself in courage" and with freedom in sight, she did not look back.   Gwendolyn Hooks tells a story of perseverance and Simone Agoussoye breaths a courage into the illustrations that you can't help but feel. Students who are learning about George Washington do not want to overlook Ona Judge's story. However, if it weren't for a book like this, her story might still go hidden as our elementary databases (we primarily use Pebble Go and Wolrd Book Kids) excludes any mention of her or the fact that the first president of the United States was a slaveholder. This is all the more reason to add Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons to your collection. Our copy is courtesy of the efforts of the organizers of Multicultural Children's Book Day (Co-Founders: Valerie Budayr and Mia Wenjen). We are glad to be able to add this to our library. 

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    This is an important story to tell, about a woman who was enslaved along with her family and others by George and Martha Washington and managed to escape. Ona Judge was born into slavery and grew up as an enslaved girl on the Washington estate, but managed to escape in adulthood. Despite Washington's repeated attempts to get her back, she managed to live the rest of her life in freedom. While slavery is a subject that children's books need to address far more and Ona is an American hero whom chi This is an important story to tell, about a woman who was enslaved along with her family and others by George and Martha Washington and managed to escape. Ona Judge was born into slavery and grew up as an enslaved girl on the Washington estate, but managed to escape in adulthood. Despite Washington's repeated attempts to get her back, she managed to live the rest of her life in freedom. While slavery is a subject that children's books need to address far more and Ona is an American hero whom children should know, there were elements that I felt kept this children's book from being all that it could be. The font is amateur looking (like very early computer fonts) and the artwork is very child-like. The story is also a little long for a read-aloud picture book, and may not keep children's attention. It is still a book that I will read my kids and recommend to others, though, since we really need far more picture books told from perspectives like Ona's and we need to teach children the good and bad of our country's history and its players. My rating system: 1 = hated it 2 = it was okay 3 = liked it 4 = really liked it 5 = love it, plan to purchase, and/or would buy it again if it was lost I read a temporary digital ARC of the book for the purpose of review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bookish

    Gripping prose relates the true story of enslaved Ona Judge's escape from George Washington's Philadelphia mansion to a free life in New Hampshire, and the unrelenting efforts by the Washingtons in the years that followed to return her to the south and a life of slavery. Well-researched, paced, and plotted by an award-winning author. Poor design choices, including use of a questionable font on large blocks of white space as well as distractingly juvenile portraiture, detract from the whole.

  9. 5 out of 5

    DenXXX

    ! I am reviewing this book for Gewndolyn Hooks, Capstone, and NetGalley who gave me a copy of their book for an honest review Although it is a story that needs to be told, I didn’t find the text exciting – too much detail at times and the pictures left a lot to be desired.

  10. 5 out of 5

    RedRobinXXX

    I am reviewing this book for Gewndolyn Hooks, Capstone, and NetGalley who gave me a copy of their book for an honest review Although it is a story that needs to be told, I didn’t find the text exciting – too much detail at times and the pictures left a lot to be desired.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    This is a story that needs to be told, especially as it's also about an American president. I liked the story, but I wish the illustrations were a bit better.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bethe

    Bookaday #6. Fascinating, well researched, story of George Washington’s slave that ran away to freedom. Text font is an odd choice and the illustrations are inconsistent. Love the author’s note and sources list.

  13. 4 out of 5

    RaiseThemRighteous

    Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons: An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom, written by Gwendolyn Hooks and illustrated by Simone Agoussoye, tells the story of a young enslaved woman who succeeded in escaping slavery, even though she was fleeing from the first president of the United States of America, George Washington. Hooks is unflinching in her depiction of slavery, and weaves Ona’s personal story into the larger national story of enslaved blacks in America. Hooks explains that enslaved blacks ha Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons: An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom, written by Gwendolyn Hooks and illustrated by Simone Agoussoye, tells the story of a young enslaved woman who succeeded in escaping slavery, even though she was fleeing from the first president of the United States of America, George Washington. Hooks is unflinching in her depiction of slavery, and weaves Ona’s personal story into the larger national story of enslaved blacks in America. Hooks explains that enslaved blacks had to work for no pay in conditions that provided no autonomy or dignity. She also notes that many children were sold away from siblings and parents. Hooks explores the distinctions between working in the house and in the field through young Ona who hoped to work in the house, like her seamstress mother. At ten-years-old Ona does move into the house, and she begins working with her mother as a seamstress. Ironically, the sewing skills Ona learned from her mother, skills that made her life as an enslaved woman a little easier, also made her particularly valuable to the Washingtons. Hooks contrasts the radical difference between the newly experienced freedom of white Americans beginning their democratic experiment, and the conditions of enslaved blacks, who were considered property, not citizens. When George Washington was elected president and set out for then capital, New York City, he brought seven enslaved blacks, including Ona and her brother, Austin. The more centrally located Philadelphia was soon chosen as the new capital of the US. In Philadelphia, Ona met free blacks, and the free black women she saw “proved freedom was possible.” While Ona was beginning to imagine freedom, George Washington’s wife, Martha, received news that her granddaughter would marry. Martha planned to give Ona as a wedding gift. Horrified, Ona began to plan her escape. With the help of Philadelphia’s free black community, she made it to New Hampshire. Although Ona continued to work hard, she worked for a wage and was free to make her own decisions. However, the Washington’s continued to look for Ona. Ona soon met a free black man, Jack Staines, who worked on a ship and traveled often. Jack and Ona fell in love, were married, and had a child. Even as years passed, Ona remained legally enslaved and was considered property of the Washingtons who continued to attempt to trick her into going back to Philadelphia. Gwendolyn Hooks narrates Ona Judge’s story matter-of-factly, while purposefully using language to foreground the full humanity of enslaved blacks. The story is an accessible corrective to whitewashed versions of US history. Simone Agoussoye’s illustrations are warm and evocative. Her thoughtful use of color adds emotional depth to the picture book. This beautiful book is a must-have for personal and school libraries. It can be used during lessons on history, biography, or civics. You will need to wait for this one, according to NetGalley, where I accessed an E-ARC, it will be published August 2019, just in time to make its way into classrooms this coming fall.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Johnson

    I read this as part of the Reading Women challenge, "A picture book written/illustrated by a BIPOC author." Obviously it was a quick read, but inspired me to look more deeply into the stories of Ona Judge and other enslaved people. Author and illustrator are both women of color, so I found this to be a great choice for this part of the challenge.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Leonard

    The title is a great description of this new fascinating picture book biography. Ona was an enslaved girl who lived with her family at Mount Vernon. She worked for the Washingtons and became a great seamstress like her mother. Martha Washington was so impressed by Ona’s work that she took her with them to live in the presidential mansion when George Washington was elected. Even though Ona lived much better than the slaves at Mount Vernon, seeing free black people in Philadelphia made her long to The title is a great description of this new fascinating picture book biography. Ona was an enslaved girl who lived with her family at Mount Vernon. She worked for the Washingtons and became a great seamstress like her mother. Martha Washington was so impressed by Ona’s work that she took her with them to live in the presidential mansion when George Washington was elected. Even though Ona lived much better than the slaves at Mount Vernon, seeing free black people in Philadelphia made her long to be a free person also. When the Washingtons’ granddaughter announced her upcoming marriage, Martha planned to give Ona to her as a wedding present. Ona knew that the window of opportunity for her to live as a free person might be closing. She hatched a dangerous plan and outwitted the President of the United States to achieve her dream of being free. Knowing the truth about slavery and practices of prominent estate owners prior to the Civil War is crucial to our understanding of the foundation of our country and in determining what we stand for. Stories by POC (Indigenous and black people) whose descendants were enslaved are critical to uncovering the truths of these experiences. ONA JUDGE OUTWITS THE WASHINGTONS is appropriate for any child who is mature enough to understand and emotionally process enslavement. This book is a great conversation starter and is highly recommended for classroom and family discussion for ages 9+. Thank you to Capstone Editions and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy. https://thewingedpen.com/2019/09/19/f...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    Written with strength and objectivity, this biographic picture book presents as much as we know of the life of one talented and determined woman who outwitted and out-distanced George Washington. Her enslaved status in personal service to Martha Washington might well have been portrayed as "safe" or being treated "well", in the past. In fact, the story reveals effectively that Ona's life was a possession of the Washington's to be "given" as a wedding present to a family member known to be far le Written with strength and objectivity, this biographic picture book presents as much as we know of the life of one talented and determined woman who outwitted and out-distanced George Washington. Her enslaved status in personal service to Martha Washington might well have been portrayed as "safe" or being treated "well", in the past. In fact, the story reveals effectively that Ona's life was a possession of the Washington's to be "given" as a wedding present to a family member known to be far less than kind. I appreciate the way the author lays the pattern of Ona's life from childhood on, being powerless, subject to the whims of her owners, and increasingly aware of the injustice (and alternatives) of her life. The risks she took to exert her agency are relvelaed with honesty and yet not so overwhelmingly as to allow the real trauma of lives in slavery make readers turn away. The illustrations are a unique blend primitive and modern/abstract images, both dramatic and emotional. I particularly appreciated that the various African-American characters throughout were of various skin tones and features, a natural reference to the long trail of mixed genetics within generations of powerless enslaved women.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elena Russell

    Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons is fascinating story told by Gwendolyn Hooks and illustrated by Simone Agoussoye. The story follows the life of Ona Judge, one of George and Martha Washington’s slaves, who managed to escape her life of slavery and risked her life to find freedom. This insightful book brought to light a story few have heard before. Gwendolyn Hooks writes the story in a manner for the age group it is intended for (ages 9-10). It is just short enough to keep the reader engaged and Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons is fascinating story told by Gwendolyn Hooks and illustrated by Simone Agoussoye. The story follows the life of Ona Judge, one of George and Martha Washington’s slaves, who managed to escape her life of slavery and risked her life to find freedom. This insightful book brought to light a story few have heard before. Gwendolyn Hooks writes the story in a manner for the age group it is intended for (ages 9-10). It is just short enough to keep the reader engaged and full of information that should be easy enough for a middle grade reader to comprehend. My only issue with this book was the illustrations. The cover of the book has a beautiful illustration of Ona Judge. I was extremely disappointed to see that the illustrations inside the book were completely different. Inside the book, the illustrations looked flat and lacked the same kind of depth as the cover. Being a non-fiction picture book for middle grades, I believe that the illustrations should help tell the story and in this case, it was only a distraction for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Capstone for providing this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Seema Rao

    Powerful ~ HIstoric ~ Painful tl;dr: An enslaved person owned by the Washington's escapes. I am unsure about how to rate this book. The story is important, an enslaved WOMAN escaping and outsmarting our first president's family. The writing is strong. The text would work well in a 4th or 5th-grade classroom, particularly as students explore the strengths of our early presidents. Seeing heroes as complicated and flawed is important, and a good way to grow critical thinking skills. The challenge is Powerful ~ HIstoric ~ Painful tl;dr: An enslaved person owned by the Washington's escapes. I am unsure about how to rate this book. The story is important, an enslaved WOMAN escaping and outsmarting our first president's family. The writing is strong. The text would work well in a 4th or 5th-grade classroom, particularly as students explore the strengths of our early presidents. Seeing heroes as complicated and flawed is important, and a good way to grow critical thinking skills. The challenge is that the illustrations are naive. I am ambivalent about if the author chose this approach purposefully. In the Revolutionary War era, naive illustrations were often used as a form of resistance. Additionally, early American painters, called limners, often made naive portraits of people for pay. Perhaps Hooks is recalling these items. The thing though is that the illustrations can sometimes detract from the text. With that caveat, I do recommend this book. 3.5 Thanks to NetGallery for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    This was a good introduction for young readers to the reality that our nation's first president was a slaveholder, and one who was determined to recapture Ona Judge, one of his slaves who had escaped. We must help children understand that humans are complicated and that even those we consider heroes are not 100% good. It is important to recognize that George Washington enslaved people, even as we recognize the amazing things he and the other founding fathers (and mothers) did in creating this co This was a good introduction for young readers to the reality that our nation's first president was a slaveholder, and one who was determined to recapture Ona Judge, one of his slaves who had escaped. We must help children understand that humans are complicated and that even those we consider heroes are not 100% good. It is important to recognize that George Washington enslaved people, even as we recognize the amazing things he and the other founding fathers (and mothers) did in creating this country. At the same time, the book really keeps the focus on the rather amazing woman that Ona Judge was, how strong and brave she was to escape and to maintain that she was now a free woman and would not go back to Virginia, even if it meant never seeing her family again. I cannot imagine how agonizing that must have been for her. This is a wonderful book to help children understand what it meant to be enslaved and what one had to go through to obtain the freedom that was their natural right. Well done.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sara Magnafichi

    Thank you to Capstone Publishing for providing an advanced copy of this book out October 2019. Who knew that George and Martha Washington had an enslaved woman that escaped? This book really fascinated the history buff in me. It tells the story of Ona Judge, who was an enslaved woman, owned by George and Martha Washington. She served the family by sewing and mending clothes in the Washington household. When Martha's niece was to be married, they were going to give Ona as a gift. Ona knew that th Thank you to Capstone Publishing for providing an advanced copy of this book out October 2019. Who knew that George and Martha Washington had an enslaved woman that escaped? This book really fascinated the history buff in me. It tells the story of Ona Judge, who was an enslaved woman, owned by George and Martha Washington. She served the family by sewing and mending clothes in the Washington household. When Martha's niece was to be married, they were going to give Ona as a gift. Ona knew that this was her one and only chance to escape. After her successful escape, she is continuously bothered by those who come on behalf of Washington who demands her return. This fascinating story of Ona's life kept me engaged from the very beginning. What a great, narrative biography that tells the story of Ona Judge's life!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The story of Ona Judge was amazing! Her fire and spirt unwillingness to be brought back into slavery was inspiring, I really loved the juxtaposition of what Washington was doing for white people in the young American country with the treatment of the people he kept enslaved. I appreciate how the author did not kowtow to the Washington legacy, instead calling out his slaveownership. I think too often children’s lit doesn’t want to address the darker side of our history and heroes, but it is so im The story of Ona Judge was amazing! Her fire and spirt unwillingness to be brought back into slavery was inspiring, I really loved the juxtaposition of what Washington was doing for white people in the young American country with the treatment of the people he kept enslaved. I appreciate how the author did not kowtow to the Washington legacy, instead calling out his slaveownership. I think too often children’s lit doesn’t want to address the darker side of our history and heroes, but it is so important. The one downside to this book for me was the illustrations. They were a bit rudimentary and inconsistent. A more professional illustration style would support the text more, and make it a great addition to any classroom library.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kendra Walker

    Thank you NetGalley and Capstone for the advanced digital copy of "Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons" in exchange for my honest opinion. Author Gwendolyn Hook's brings us a piece of history that many are not aware of. We often hear about historical accounts of slavery and even of runaways, but what made this stand out was that Ona was in such a difficult location to achieve what she did. Though the historical aspect of this book was great I was still left wanting more information. I also felt as t Thank you NetGalley and Capstone for the advanced digital copy of "Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons" in exchange for my honest opinion. Author Gwendolyn Hook's brings us a piece of history that many are not aware of. We often hear about historical accounts of slavery and even of runaways, but what made this stand out was that Ona was in such a difficult location to achieve what she did. Though the historical aspect of this book was great I was still left wanting more information. I also felt as though it became a bit redundant in areas. This book would, in my opinion, be suited better in a younger age group category. Overall, this book will be a wonderful addition to the enhancement of historical knowledge.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tedi

    I really enjoy this story of bravery and a willingness to take risks to give yourself the life you deserve. I especially appreciate that this is a story of a slave of George Washington. It is important for children to learn that even people that were revered in their time also chose to have slaves. This story is a way to talk to children about the idea that “it was just what was done then” is not an excuse for behavior that you know is wrong. Hooks told this story simply but richly. It will be an I really enjoy this story of bravery and a willingness to take risks to give yourself the life you deserve. I especially appreciate that this is a story of a slave of George Washington. It is important for children to learn that even people that were revered in their time also chose to have slaves. This story is a way to talk to children about the idea that “it was just what was done then” is not an excuse for behavior that you know is wrong. Hooks told this story simply but richly. It will be an exellent entry point for conversations. The art style of this is not my favorite, but there is something about the simplicity of it that fits perfectly with the text. I received an ARC of this book from Capstone on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    Thank you to Capstone Publishing for sharing an advanced copy of this one with our #bookexpedition group. A must read story about the bravery of Ona Judge, enslaved by the Washington family, who dared to look for freedom in 1796. As one of the Washington’s most skilled and trustworthy slaves, Ona was brought to Philadelphia to live in their mansion. She yearned to be free, and courageously escaped to New Hampshire. The Washingtons were furious and tried multiple times to get her to return, yet e Thank you to Capstone Publishing for sharing an advanced copy of this one with our #bookexpedition group. A must read story about the bravery of Ona Judge, enslaved by the Washington family, who dared to look for freedom in 1796. As one of the Washington’s most skilled and trustworthy slaves, Ona was brought to Philadelphia to live in their mansion. She yearned to be free, and courageously escaped to New Hampshire. The Washingtons were furious and tried multiple times to get her to return, yet each time Ona was able to avoid capture. An important picture book that should be part of the conversation when learning about President Washington. Publishes 10/1/19.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dede

    This short nonfiction reading gives students a fair picture of what life was like for enslaved people in the early years of the United States. It would be a great addition to a unit on the American Revolution or the early United States. The fact that Ona was owned by George Washington will start many enlightening conversations! I also like that this story takes place in the late 1700s, more than 60 years before the Civil War. I think it will add perspective for my students. #OnaJudgeOutwitsTheWa This short nonfiction reading gives students a fair picture of what life was like for enslaved people in the early years of the United States. It would be a great addition to a unit on the American Revolution or the early United States. The fact that Ona was owned by George Washington will start many enlightening conversations! I also like that this story takes place in the late 1700s, more than 60 years before the Civil War. I think it will add perspective for my students. #OnaJudgeOutwitsTheWashingtons #NetGalley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lizanne Johnson

    Ona Judge's story is an important one. She was enslaved and lived with George and Martha Washington. Her story of her successful escape should be read by all. This book is geared toward middle grade readers. As a middle school librarian, my teachers ask for books like this that can serve as a jumping off point for units they are teaching. It will certainly start a discussion and lead to deep research! The style of the artwork fit the book. Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to Ona Judge's story is an important one. She was enslaved and lived with George and Martha Washington. Her story of her successful escape should be read by all. This book is geared toward middle grade readers. As a middle school librarian, my teachers ask for books like this that can serve as a jumping off point for units they are teaching. It will certainly start a discussion and lead to deep research! The style of the artwork fit the book. Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to review an ARC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aolund

    A crucial and overlooked story from U.S. American history, but unfortunately rendered in a dry and un-engaging manner. The book is very text-heavy, with an unattractive typeface, and fails to retell the story with the kind of pacing and imagined dialogue which can help to connect young readers with a story from history. The illustrations are colorful and somewhat heavy-handed. Hopefully this will be just one telling of this important story and we can look forward to stronger versions in the futu A crucial and overlooked story from U.S. American history, but unfortunately rendered in a dry and un-engaging manner. The book is very text-heavy, with an unattractive typeface, and fails to retell the story with the kind of pacing and imagined dialogue which can help to connect young readers with a story from history. The illustrations are colorful and somewhat heavy-handed. Hopefully this will be just one telling of this important story and we can look forward to stronger versions in the future.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Guinnane

    The story is interesting because it's an example of a slave defying someone we can't imagine anyone defying, President Washington. The text seems a bit stiff in the reading, but it weaves a good story. Of course, I would love to know more details about Ona and how she was able to evade capture so many times. Most likely, those details will never be known. This will be a good book to introduce my students to the issue of slavery.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian Smeltzer

    Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone for the ARC in exchange for this review. There are too many stories that seemingly go untold. This book tells the story of Ona Judge and her unwavering drive to be a free woman regardless of the cost. This is a great story to use in a classroom setting! There needs to be more stories like this for us all to read but especially children of color. What a strong example of empowerment!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    It’s important that alongside all the great and wonderful stories about our first president that these stories are told as well. Ona’s story was told in a very straight-forward manner, honestly talking about all aspects of her life, how relentless the Washingtons were in trying to get her back, and how she stood up and outsmarted them each time. I was not initially fond of the illustrations but they grew on me as I continued to read the book.

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