Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Review - January's Sparrow by Patricia Polacco

Title: January’s Sparrow

Written by: Patricia Polacco

Researched by: Mary McCafferty Douglass

Hardcover: 96 pages

Ages: 9-12

Publisher: Philomel Books

ISBN 13: 978-0-399-25077-4

Published: October 2009

Many brave souls, white and black, risked their lives helping slaves to freedom. Many would believe that once reaching a free state all their worries would be washed away. Unfortunately, the “Under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793,” gave slave owners the right, even in free states, to take back their slaves.

The true story of the Crosswhite family told through the eyes of their “adoptive” son January, engulfs you in the dreams and fears of each family member, especially young Sadie. Her intuition and trustworthiness will warm your heart for a positive outcome for all. What became of the Crosswhite family one will learn through the expert storytelling of Patricia Polacco. One you will not soon forget.

To learn more of the illustrious career of Patricia Polacco visit  

Reviewed by Donna M. McDine

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Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.


  1. Sounds like a very interesting book and one that will interest kids of school age particularly. Thanks for featuring this book.


  2. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing on your blog!

  3. Very nice review. This sounds like a wonderful book and I am going to have to check it out to share with my daughter!

  4. Currently I have been reviewing hundreds of Childrens books, however at first glance 'January's Sparrow' silently held me in fascination. The book grasped me from the minute I read the title to the illustrations on it's cover as being intriguing as well as mysterious. It is in tune with the painful reality of the past and the emotional trauma of enduring life's horrifying struggles through the eyes of innocent young children. 'January's Sparrow' is such a fitting title of compassion to say it was a gift is one thing but the truth is the depth of the title sends a message of how the child soared beyond the trials and tribulations of his life into freedom. I will enjoy sharing this story with my grandchildren and students as an open discussion based on the storyline and comparison and contrast between the past and present in relation to the student's lives. I am honored to have found your book and will keep it as a part of a very valuable collection in my own personal library.

    Anita Savoy


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