Priscilla is only four years old when her mother is sold to another master. All Priscilla has to remember her mother by are the hollyhocks she planted by the cow pond. At age ten, Priscilla is sold to a Cherokee family and continues her life as a slave. She keeps hope for a better life alive by planting hollyhocks wherever she goes. At last, her forced march along the Trail of Tears brings a chance encounter that leads to her freedom.
Includes an author's note with more details about this fascinating true story as well as instructions for making hollyhock dolls.
January 8, 2019
Lexile: 700L | Fountas/Pinnell: P
Anne Broyles is the author of many books, including SHY MAMA'S HALLOWEEN, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. She lives in North Andover, Massachusetts.
"When I was young and still wore slavery's yoke, I was saved by hollyhocks, and a white man's kindness." So begins the tale of a little girl, born into slavery on a Georgia plantation. Her mother is sold and the only rememberance Priscilla has of her are the hollyhocks she planted. Old Sylvia teaches her how to make hollyhock dolls and float them on the pond. Priscilla is soon put to work in the big house and meets a white man named Basil Silkwood, who tells her she's smart and should be in school. When the master dies, she's sold to a Cherokee family and is part of the painful Trail of Tears march. Incredibly, on her way through town, she recognizes Silkwood and speaks out to him. He follows the march to the encampment and buys Priscilla's freedom. She becomes a part of the Silkwood family and plants the hollyhocks with these words: "Grow, I sang to the seeds. Bloom, I commanded the plants. Safe, I told myself. Home." Simple, bold colorful paintings enhance a text many readers will be able to decipher. Historical note and instructions to make a hollyhock doll are appended.—Kirkus Reviews