|Across the Wide River|
The plot line of the book is simple: Lowry Rankin is growing up with a father who is an abolitionist minister. As Lowry grows, his involvement with his father’s work grows, but eventually a boy becomes a man and has to begin making his own decisions. The work portrays a glimpse into the emotional wrestling that went into those decisions, as well as the personal sacrifices involved.
Admittedly, there is little intensive action in this book. However, Reed doesn’t claim to have written an action book. It’s a work to detail the horrors of slavery, even “good” slavery, and the willingness of some to look away for the sake of their own wealth. She has put together a book to challenge the reader to think about whether you would look away or delve into the sacrifice necessary.
While this book was published back in 2004, I find that it remains a timely read. The world constantly brings new challenges, but the choices that children and teenagers will have to make now and into adulthood reflect Lowry’s dilemmas: how much will I have to sacrifice? Am I willing to do this? What if I never know if it did any good?
This book leaves me with these questions, and will hopefully challenge others the same way.
The author, Stephanie Reed, was kind enough to stop by and leave the comment below. I thought I'd highlight the link she left for sample chapters of this book and its sequel: http://bit.ly/rdRKvp