Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780395979389, 224pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2000
The year is 1851. Miles is a slave. By the shrewdness of his Mama Cee, he was assigned at an early age to work in the great house on the Tillery Plantation. Like the other servants-in-training, Miles is proud to wear soft wool knee britches and to use the speech of the great house. Each day he helps to provide the creature comforts of a well-run mansion. Until he is caught looking at the open pages of a book. As a punishment, twelve-year-old Miles is sent to the breaking ground. There he experiences what it really means to be a slave. With the help of a mysterious man named Elijah, Miles learns to read and forms a pact to escape. Watching and waiting, Miles takes risk after risk to gain freedom for himself and Mama Cee in a story that will inspire readers of all ages.
"The novel reads like a suspense thriller, with spies, counterspies, disguises, and trickery used as weapons on both sides as Miles battles the belief that it is his destiny to be a slave." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books