PAPERBACK

CATEGORY: Teens

PAGES: 196

TRIM SIZE: 6.75 X 9.0

ISBN: 978-1-61620-550-8

LIST PRICE: $10.95

HARDCOVER

CATEGORY: Teens

PAGES: 176

TRIM SIZE: 6.8 X 9.0

ISBN: 978-1-61620-196-8

LIST PRICE: $17.95

E-book

CATEGORY: Teens

ISBN: 978-1-61620-436-5

LIST PRICE: $10.95

Overview

The page-turning, heart-wrenching true story of one young woman willing to risk her safety and even her life for a chance at freedom in the largest slave escape attempt in American history.

In 1848, Emily Edmonson, thirteen, along with five siblings and seventy other enslaved people, boarded the Pearl in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., in a bid to reach freedom. Within a day, the schooner was captured, and the six Edmonsons were sent to New Orleans to be sold. Emily and Mary were saved from the even crueler conditions when the threat of yellow fever forced their return to Virginia. They were eventually ransomed with the help of their parents and abolitionists, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, who later used them as models for characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both girls went to Oberlin College, where Mary died of tuberculosis. Emily graduated and became a teacher at the first school in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the education of African American girls and young women–an idea so controversial that even Frederick Douglass advised against it. Emily also worked on behalf of abolition for the rest of her life.

Passenger on the Pearl illustrates a turbulent time in American history as seen through the daily lives of enslaved people; the often changing laws affecting them; the high cost of a failed attempt to reach liberty; the fate of all fourteen of the Edmonson children and their mother, Milly, whose goal to die a free woman shaped the lives of all her children; and the stories of the slave traders and abolitionists whose lives intersected with the Edmonsons’.

Includes more than fifty period photographs and illustrations.

A 2016 Carter G. Woodson Award Winner

Praise

"Clearly written, well-documented, and chock full of maps, sidebars, and reproductions of photographs and engravings, the fascinating volume covers a lot of history in a short space. Conkling uses the tools of a novelist to immerse readers in Emily's experiences. A fine and harrowing true story behind an American classic."
- Kirkus Reviews

"[Passenger on the Pearl] covers information about slavery that is often not found in other volumes…Conkling’s work is intricate and detailed…A strong and well-sourced resource."
- School Library Journal

"Compelling and inspiring . . . This is a great introduction into a little-known but important historical figure."
- VOYA

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Meet the Author

Winifred Conkling studied journalism at Northwestern University and received her master of arts in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has written more than thirty nonfiction books for adults, most involving health and consumer topics. Her first book for children, Sylvia & Aki, won the 2012 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for Older Readers and the 2012 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three children.