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Currents by Jane Smolik


by Jane Smolik

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eally enjoy reading middle-school historical fiction, especially one's that feature fierce girls fighting for their place in the world. Currents fits the bill and it brought to life three girls, one who is brutalized and two mistreated and dominated through unjust life circumstances. I am glad the author started with Bones, the slave girl who is whipped and abused for trying to learn to read and find her name in birth records. It was critical for Bones to know her name at a time when slave's names were changed as they were bought and sold. She wanted to have a place in the world for her and her family and by putting her first it allowed her name to be front and center. It also set up the rest of the book as we also learn the life stories of two other girls who also find a way to maintain their dignity through political oppression and harsh family circumstances. I felt for each girl and their pain and admired their fortitude.

While I was fairly immersed in most of the book, I think this book is for students who are already readers. At times it was a bit dry and moved slowly and I thought that it required an ability to "stick to it" to finish it.

Overall, often heartbreaking, often uplifting Currents is real and deeply told. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion. ( )
  Karen59 | Sep 24, 2015 |
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In 1854 eleven-year-old Bones is a slave in Virginia who sends a bottle holding her real name and a trinket from her long-lost father down the James River--the currents carry it far away, ultimately uniting the lives of three young girls.

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