My Name is Sally Little Song
Sally May Harrison and her older brother, Abraham, escape from a plantation north of
Waycross, Georgia with their parents. But the journey is filled with danger in 'The Land of
the Trembling Earth'.
A touching story of a runaway slave family who find refuge with the Seminoles
The sound of rain on the roof opened my eyes. A bucketful of wet wind
whirled through the cabin wall hole and I studied the day, then softly sang,
“Mornin' come, but no sun, and quiet is everywhere...”
I yawned big, wanting to stretch, but I couldn't budge without waking
everyone. We were like four field mice twined together on our narrow straw
bed. Mama was still asleep next to me, Pa cuddled beside her, close like two
hands when you pray. My only brother, Abraham, who is a year older than
me, was flat on his back beside Pa, snoring loud and hard. His huge mouth
was wide-open, chest growing so big with every breath, it looked like it was
about to burst.
The cabin walls are black with soot and it only takes ten of my footsteps to
cross from one side to the other. But we have a porch where we can sit
outside and feel like our world is as wide as the sky with all of its stars.
Outback we have a garden where we grow cowpeas alongside red yams, okra,
greens, and watermelons, which Pa refers to as August Hams.
The fire in the fireplace had burned out, inviting the cold to fill the cabin. But
tiny pieces of hot wood that look like orange lightning bugs lingered, resting
atop the gray ashes.
Mama groaned and pulled the blanket up around her neck. “Is the fire out,
Sally May?” she asked.
“Sur'nuf,” I replied.
“Yes, ma'am...and plenty hard.”
Mama squirmed out of Pa's arms, stared into my eyes, and smiled, “No cotton
I gave her a giant grin. “Indeed.”
“Searing historical fiction...” Booklist starred review
“The story is so well written that children ages 8 and older will surely
get a better understanding of life as a slave when our country was
new.” Newton's Book Notes
“Solid historical fiction...horrifyingly believable...involving and
bittersweet...” Publishers Weekly
“A page turner and an educational book too. It's not to be missed.”
“A stunning historical novel.” Book Sense
Boys will enjoy this adventure as well as girls.
Ages 8+ G.P. Putnam's Sons 2006
Book Sense Fall Pick 2006
Book Links Best Books for the Classroom 2006