Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Elijah of Buxton

Elijah of Buxton

Fall 2007 Fiction
Ages: 9 & Up
Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 0439023440
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Elijah Freeman is the very first child to have been born free in the Buxton Settlement in Canada West. Once, when the famous Fredrick Douglas spoke to the community and was tossing Baby Elijah up in the air, Elijah threw up all over Mr. Douglas and instantly became famous himself. Scampering from mischief to trouble and back again with his friend Cooter, eleven-year-old Elijah is also attracted to an unsavory con-artist called, "The Preacher," who lives on the fringes of society. When a member of the community finally has enough gold to go back to the states and buy his family's freedom, Elijah unwisely confides in The Preacher. He sets in motion terrible events which, when he travels to Detroit to try to undo them, brings him face to face with captured runaway slaves.

The character of Elijah's is wonderfully alive. He has laugh-aloud misadventures - until he doesn't. Elijah's encounters with the slaves chained in a stable are searing. Although he is unable to free the slaves, he is able to help them. The ending is realistic, and it contains a spark of hope.

Kemie Nix   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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