The Legend of Freedom Hill
Best friends Rosabel and Sophia are outsiders in gold rush California. Rosabel has freedom papers, but she’s the daughter of a runaway slave; Sophia belongs to the only Jewish family in town. When a slave catcher seizes Rosabel’s mother, ‘Miz Violet,’ the two resourceful girls pan for gold, finally discover it in a cave, and use their claim to buy the freedom of Miz Violet and four other slaves. The informal tone and colloquial language establish a distinctive storyteller’s voice. Cultural and historical facts are smoothly integrated into the story, but the focus is squarely on the friendship. Dappled watercolor illustrations provide interesting period details. Dramatic postures and vivid facial expressions reflect and embellish the narrative… Children will identify with the spunky, resourceful girls and enjoy the expeditious resolution. With multicultural and historical themes, this original ‘legend’ will enhance social studies curricula, especially in California.