I found this book to be very, very slow. Though I was interested enough in Jem and his plight, the mysteries and their answers were too far removed from each other, and some of them didn't quite make sense to me. What I appreciated as I read was the ability of the author to take me into that time, and how I could sense how familiar she had made herself with Fort Mose and its history. The interracial dynamics, the introduction to different foods they ate and crafts they created, and the tense period of time Jem lived in were all very clearly wrought. I think this would be a great book to read in a history class, but sadly, the story was not as cohesive as I had wished.