Dear America: A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl

Dear America Series
Author: Patricia C. McKissack
Guided readling level: T
My recommended age: 9 and up
Historical Fiction

Clotee is a house slave living on the Belmont Plantation in Virgina during 1859.  Having been the "fan girl" while the Master's son does his schooling, Clotee taught herself to read and write, a very dangerous thing for a slave to do.  Even while she must contently be on her guard to feign ignorance, Clotee keeps a secret diary detailing her life and struggles on the plantation, along with her wish for freedom. 

This book did an excellent job of portraying what life was like for slaves.  I found it totally entertaining as well as educational.  The entire book is a series of journal entries, which was a great format for telling Clotee's story.  If you are unfamiliar with the Dear America series the author takes real people and events and places them in fictionalized but accurate setting of the time period.  In this case Clotee Henley was a real slave who became a conductor on the underground railroad.  Things to watch for include slaves being severely beaten and killed, an attempted rape and the discussion of Slave Master's getting their slave women pregnant.  This is a great book and wonderful series!



  1. I'm not good at future planning. I don't plan at all. I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow. I don't have a day planner and I don't have a diary.
    I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future. See the link below for more info.


  2. Great article. I spent my spare time reading some blogs. And I found yours a great and knowledgeable content. Keep it up.



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