Unbound by Ann E. Burg has been on my "to-read" list for a long time so I finally bought myself a copy last week and couldn't wait to spend the weekend curled up in my reading chair with this novel in verse. I opened it around 10:30 Friday night and spent the next three hours reading the entire thing. I could not put it down! (which left me sad and distraught over what I would spend the rest of the weekend reading, but I'm surviving...)
Unbound is the story of Gracie, a nine year-old albino slave (which the author never comes out and says directly, but Gracie's features and blue eyes are discussed through conversations she has with others) who spends her days watching her two toddler brothers while her mother and step father work the fields. Her life changes overnight when she's told she will be taken to the Big House in the morning to work for the Master.
I instantly fell in love with Gracie and barely twenty pages in I was sobbing like a baby thinking about Gracie leaving her family and worrying about what was going to happen. I wanted to reach through the pages of the book to hold her close and protect her. Ann E. Burg's prose is so clever and pulls you into Gracie's family's world so inclusively you feel immersed in the story and can't wait to see what happens next. Novels in verse, when well written as this one is, are a refreshing change to traditional novels and if you've never read a novel in verse I highly recommend you read one. This one.
AR Level: MG 5.1
If you enjoy Unbound, you will also like Brown Girl Dreaming (MG 5.3) and Jefferson's Sons (MG+ 3.9)-*content not suitable for students below 6th grade (Click here for more information about AR Levels)
If you'd like to buy one for you or your local school's library, click on the link below: