The Drinking Gourd

Written by F.N. Monjo • Illustrated by Fred Brenner

Reviewed by Starr H. (age 9)

This book was about slavery and people like Little Jeff, the father, Baby Pearl, and Vinnie that were trying to escape so they could be free, and escape the U.S. marshal because if the U.S. marshal catches them they will be slaves and never be free. When Tommy was at church with his father he did something wrong. Then his father sent him home and then Tommy went into the barn and started jumping on the hay. The father came and brought out his axe and said, ?Are you a U.S. marshal?? and Tommy was going to say no. Then he saw Little Jeff, and then they introduced their names, and then the father came home. When Little Jeff was leaving with his family, Tommy whispered to Little Jeff ?goodbye? and then Little Jeff whispered back ?goodbye.?

I liked the book because it reminds me of The Pilgrims because there were slaves back then and then they escaped on a boat and some of those people died while they were on a boat. When they got to the new place they were so happy that they were not slaves anymore. I liked that the father and Tommy helped the father, Little Jeff, Baby Pearl, and Vinnie and didn?t give them away and say they were going to be slaves again because they wanted the money. I liked that Tommy was being nice when the mother sent him to bed that he listened to her, but he didn?t fall asleep, he stayed up until the father came home.

I think that other people would like this book because they would be really happy that Tommy and the father didn?t let them look in there and say that they were hiding in there in my hay. Grown ups would like this book because they were generous because they gave the father the boats so they could sail to Canada. Eight year olds would like this book because it?s a great book to read and could make you feel like people felt back in the old days.

Starr H. is a member in New York Cares/Island School Reading Club's Winter 2006 (2005-2006)