The Freedom Maze

The Freedom Maze

Book - 2014
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While staying with her grandmother for the summer, thirteen-year-old Sophie discovers a maze that transports her back in time to a sugar plantation where she is mistaken for a slave.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014, c2011.
Edition: First Candlewick Press edition.
ISBN: 9780763669751
076366975X
Characteristics: 255 pages ; 21 cm.

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SCL_Justin Jul 20, 2017

Delia Sherman’s The Freedom Maze is a story of a 13-year-old southern girl named Sophie in the 1960s who goes out to her grandmother’s manor for the summer. Her mom is all about Sophie behaving like a proper white lady. Then she travels back in time 100 years (through the intercession of a Creature in the maze) and is taken in as a slave on the sugar plantation. The plantation owners think she’s the misbegotten daughter of their dissolute New Orleans brother.

The story is about Sophie learning to be a slave. She starts off in the house but gets framed for stealing and has to do much crappier work. She makes friends and comes of age and doesn’t get to go home when what she thinks was a fine adventure is done.

It was a pretty good story, and it was easy to be mad at the characters you were supposed to dislike, including Sophie’s terrible mother. It didn’t feel preachy though. I was a little bored, but I’m not a huge slice of life historical fiction person in the first place. It felt well-researched, and I was very happy that Sophie’s physical changes from living six months in the span of twenty minutes weren’t taken back, Narnia-style.

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