I Want to Be Free

By Joseph Slate; E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)
(G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780399243424, 32pp.)

Publication Date: January 8, 2009

List Price: $16.99*
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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 lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Ashley Wolff lives in San Francisco, California.

E. B. Lewis won the 2005 Caldecott Honor Book for Coming On Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson and the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, for Talkin' About Bessie by Nikki Grimes. Mr. Lewis teaches illustration at Philadelphia's University of the Arts. He lives in Folsom, New Jersey.
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