I Want to Be Free

I Want to Be Free Cover

I Want to Be Free

By Joseph Slate; E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)

G. P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780399243424, 32pp.

Publication Date: January 8, 2009


Before I die, I want to be free. But the Big Man says, ?You belong to me.?

A runaway slave has broken the chains that bound him, but as he sets out for the land of the free, he still carries the weight of an iron ring around his ankle. As long as it remains, and as long as the Big Man hunts him, he?ll never truly be free. But rescuing an orphaned slave child from certain capture gives him the strength to keep moving on, and miraculously, the child?s love and gratitude are all that is needed to destroy the shackle once and for all.

This moving, poetic text is based on a story from the sacred literature of Buddha.

About the Author
Joseph Slate, a native West Virginian, has always loved to paint and write. "I majored in journalism at the University of Washington in Seattle, worked as a reporter on "The Seattle Times," was an editor for "Foreign Broadcast Information Service" (Washington, D.C., California, and Tokyo), then took a degree in fine arts at Yale, although I never illustrated my own books. My painting took a direction that was at odds with the fine art of illustration."My ideas come from everywhere: a childhood drawing I did of a porcupine, a silly song I once sang to a godchild, and my teacher-niece and pupil-grand nephew getting ready for kindergarten, all kicked off an idea for a book. Now I am writing novels, and it's the same what-if approach, although the first one came out of my West Virginia boyhood. It's called Crossing the Trestle, and the young narrator faces an obstacle I did as a child."Mr. Slate is Professor of Art Emeritus at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he taught for 30 years. He now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Patty. A Marine Air Corps veteran, he and his wife have set foot on all seven continents and traveled in 39 countries. They have lived in both Japan and Italy."Snacking is my big vice, especially chocolate and oatmeal raisin cookies. To keep my weight down, I take tai-chi courses with a world grand master and play water volley ball."Awards: National Bookseller's and New York Public Library's annual lists, Library of Congress citation, Ohio and Kansas State Reading Circle lists, Colorado and Wyoming School Children's 1998 Best Book finalist, 1998 Americas Commended list, Publisher's Weekly best seller list (twice), Delaware's l997 Blue Hen Award, Ohioana Library Association's Award for distinguised service in the field of children's literature.copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.