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Unbound: A Novel in Verse (Hardcover)

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From the award-winning author of All the Broken Pieces and Serafina's Promise comes a breathtaking new novel that is her most transcendent and widely accessible work to date.

The day Grace is called from the slave cabins to work in the Big House, Mama makes her promise to keep her eyes down. Uncle Jim warns her to keep her thoughts tucked private in her mind or they could bring a whole lot of trouble and pain.

But the more Grace sees of the heartless Master and hateful Missus, the more a rightiness voice clamors in her head-asking how come white folks can own other people, sell them on the auction block, and separate families forever. When that voice escapes without warning, it sets off a terrible chain of events that prove Uncle Jim's words true. Suddenly, Grace and her family must flee deep into the woods, where they brave deadly animals, slave patrollers, and the uncertainty of ever finding freedom.

With candor and compassion, Ann E. Burg sheds light on a startling chapter of American history--the remarkable story of runaways who sought sanctuary in the Great Dismal Swamp--and creates a powerful testament to the right of every human to be free.

About the Author

Ann Burg's debut novel, All the Broken Pieces, was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Jefferson Cup award winner and an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society, among its many honors. Her follow-up, Serafina's Promise, was named an ALA Notable, a Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner, and an NAACP Image Award finalist. Her latest novel, Unbound, was the winner of the New-York Historical Society Children's History Book Prize and the Christopher Award, among other distinctions. Burg worked as an English teacher for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with her family. Visit her online at

Praise For…

Awards and Praise for Unbound:

Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for Middle Readers, Honor Book
Christopher Award, Books for Young People

Awards and Praise for All the Broken Pieces:

Jefferson Cup award winner
Booklist Editors' Choice
ALA Best Books for Young Adults
IRA Notable Book for a Global Society
ALA Popular Paperback for Young Adults

*"[A] stirring debut novel . . . will make readers want to rush to the end and then return to the beginning again to make connections between past, present, friends and enemies."--Booklist, starred review

*"The verse form carries highly charged emotions and heavy content with elegiac simplicity." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*"Using spare free verse, first-time novelist Burg beautifully evokes the emotions of a Vietnamese adoptee as he struggles to come to terms with his past." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"...the story is a lovely, moving one." --School Library Journal

Awards and Praise for Serafina's Promise:
Starred review from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal
Kirkus Best Book of the Year
Parents' Choice Gold Award winner
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
New York Public Library 100 Books for Giving and Sharing
The Herald-Sun Wilde Award for Longer books, Middle grade novel
Cybils Awards Finalists, Middle Grade Fiction
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Literary Work-Youth/Teens nominee
ALA Notable Book
ALA Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
Michigan Great Lakes Great Books Award nominee
Bank Street College Children's Book Committee - Best Children's Books of the Year
Américas Award, Commended Title
Kansas' William Allen White Award

"Serafina's dreams are challenged by poverty, flood, and earthquake, but her tenacious spirit hangs on through it all. The grace of the Haitian people is revealed in Burg's poetic language, the vastness of Haiti's needs apparent in the details of Serafina's world. Serafina's journey is one readers will find unsettling but, at the same time, rich with examples of true courage and dignity." --Karen Hesse, author of the Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust and Safekeeping

"Serafina is certainly a resilient and admirable character who will touch the hearts of many adults as well as children and put a human face on the poverty and tragedies of the Haitian people. Through this story, Ann extends the reputation she established with All the Broken Pieces." --Don Gallo

"Ann E. Burg has masterfully crafted a lovingly cadenced book in which, behind each gemlike story, another gemlike story rises, synchronizing poetically with the local landscape, where there is another mountain behind each mountain. Serafina's Promise, a fascinating poetic tale, a magic window that opens gently and brings to your heart the cultural richness and wonders of a fate-taunting nation." --Denize Lauture
Product Details
ISBN: 9780545934275
ISBN-10: 0545934273
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 27th, 2016
Pages: 352
Language: English