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Teen Book Review — A Free Woman on God’s Earth


Title: A Free Woman on God’s Earth
Author: Jana Laiz and Ann Elizabeth Barnes
Stars (out of 5): 4
Review: A Free Woman on God’s Earth is a biography of Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Bet or Mumbet, a former slave in Massachusetts during revolutionary times. This book is written like a story, putting all the events in her life in chronological order and writing about her emotions, making it easier to understand and enjoy than some other biographies. Elizabeth Freeman was a very important woman for history, particularly in Massachusetts. She was separated from her parents when she was only seven years old, and sent as a gift to the Ashley family, where she would stay until the end of her slavery, but not the rest of her life. She was a smart woman, and she wanted to be free from slavery, so she worked hard, and eventually found a way to free herself. During her later years as a slave, there was talk of a revolution. Elizabeth Freeman served lawyers during their meetings with Mr. Ashley, and heard their talk of freedom for America. These meetings were also where she learned that owning slaves in Massachusetts was illegal. Elizabeth Freeman, along with her friend, Brom, sued for her freedom under the Massachusetts Constitution, which stated, “All men are born free and equal.” She won the suit, and her Freedom along with it. I am going to rate this book four out of five stars. It was interesting and it caught and held my attention. However, it was an easy read, and I found it lacking some action and excitement, which was what I expected since I prefer fiction to non-fiction books. I think this story is similar to the story of Harriet Tubman. Both stories are about brave women who did amazing thinks to win their freedom from slavery, and helped others do the same. However, there is also a major difference between their stories. Elizabeth Freeman sued for her freedom, proving slavery unlawful in Massachusetts, and making it impossible to defend in court, while Harriet Tubman ran away from slavery and her way of helping was leading others to freedom. This book doesn’t compare much to my life at all, except that I sometimes wish I could make most of my own choices. However, there is a reason adults make some choices for me. It is for my own good.

This review was written by a 7th grader.

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