At fourteen, Lucky Valdera has spent a good portion of his life on the whaling ship, the Nightbird. After he is orphaned, he wants to return to the sea. Unfortunately, his estranged half brother, Fortuna has other plans.
Fortuna kidnaps Lucky, takes everything he owns, forces him to work in a nearby mill and keeps all of Lucky's wages, thus forcing him into servitude. Lucky is determined to escape his half brother's harsh treatment.
Lucky's plans take an unexpected turn when he meets Daniel, a runaway slave and Emmeline, daughter of a Quaker abolitionist. Emmeline promises Lucky passage on her uncle's ship if he will help the Underground Railroad by preventing slaves from being rounded up by their masters armed with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. Lucky' character is aptly tested in his escape with Daniel.
Author Krista Russell presents the moral dilemma with the Fugitve Slave Act in a climatic story by adding just enough historical background to aid the story, but not too much that it takes away from the character development. Strong characters and a well paced exciting plot make Chasing the Nightbird a strong historical fiction novel especially suited for boys ages 10-14. Emmeline is a strong, likeable character that will appeal to girls as well. Recommended.
Click here to purchase this book from Amazon.
Click here to purchase from Barnes and Noble.
* Disclaimer: Though I have received a review copy by Peachtree Publishing, my opinions are not influenced by them in any way. I do not accept payments for book reviews.