Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1152
Historical Novel-In-Verse for MG readers
(Updated: November 17, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
All her life, Grace has been told the rules she must follow to survive: keep eyes down, keep mouth shut, etc. When she is taken to work in the Big House, she realizes more and more the reasoning behind those rules. One day, Grace learns her family will be even further separated because of the Master, and she sets out to stop it from happening. Together, she and her family brave the dangerous swamps to find a way to freedom.

What I Liked:

I truly adore novels told in verse, and middle grade readers who enjoy quick reads may want to consider this one. Grace is a strong main character, someone who loves her family but is trapped in a society that doesn’t see her as even human. I particularly like the interactions between her and her mother for their warmth.

Prior to reading this, I did not know much about the Great Dismal Swamp and what people endured to use it as a sanctuary of sort. Readers interested in lesser known historical detail will be eager for more information on the swamp after seeing Grace and her family go through it on their own.

What Left Me Wanting More:

Given the rich number of stories about slavery, this one doesn’t add much to the canon beyond the lesser known element of the swamps. Sadly, this makes Unbound an overall forgettable book. Collections will likely be better served with works from Virginia Hamilton, Sharon Draper, Walter Dean Myers, and Julius Lester.
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