Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alec's Primer

Author: Mildred Pitts Walter

First line: Near the Rappahannock River in Port Royal, Virginia, the Gouldin tobacco plantation spread over many acres.

Why you should read this book: Born into slavery, Alec tries to keep his head down and follow the rules, but the Mistress's rebellious granddaughter insists on teaching him to read, and Alec begins to dream of freedom. Saving his pennies in a secret jar and studying from the primer she gives him, he protects his knowledge and imagines life in Vermont, until he can join the Northern soldiers and fight in the civil war. A true story, based on Alec's daughter's recollections, this book features a short historical blurb, as well as a photograph of the real Alec at his wedding.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're waiting for the South to rise again.

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