By Mary Catherine Ball
Every Monday morning you awake, refreshed from the weekend. You pack your bookbag and head off to school, but you return in the afternoon. On the weekend, you head to your best friend's house for a sleepover, but you return the next day. You may even go on vacation with your grandparents, but you always return home.
What if you left and could never come home?
In Kem Knapp Sawyer's new novel Freedom Calls: Journey of a Slave Girl a young girl must leave home to find freedom. She can never return.
"We always read about the slaves who never knew freedom. But for those who did escape, they had to start all over and leave so much behind. How hard it must have been losing family, saying goodbye to friends," Sawyer said.
Sawyer writes for children. The idea for a friendship between Louisa, a runaway slave girl, and Abby, the daughter of Gamaliel Bailey, an abolitionist and founder of the National Era wove history into a story; a story about defying the law, running away from your destiny as a slave and creating a new life far from any you had ever known.
And the story takes place in our nation's capital.
"Washington had a very significant free black population. There were free blacks and slaves living in the same city, side by side, even within the same family. It gives you a lot to think about," Sawyer said.
Sawyer completed her latest children's book with the help of family. Her three daughters, Kate, Eve and Ida, and husband Jon, a Washington correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, support her love of writing.
"I've always liked to read. Even when I was little I wanted to be a writer. I would make up stories to put myself to sleep at night," Sawyer says.
Talk to Sawyer and have your copy of Freedom Calls signed Sat. March 17 at 2pm at Borders Books at Maza Gallery 5333 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. (Friendship Heights Metro): 202/686-8270.
Make this delicious treat that friends Abby and Louisa shared in Freedom Calls.
Roll out your packaged pie or biscuit dough in a long, narrow strip. Rub with soft butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up into a roll as round as your buns are to be. Slice 3/4'' thick with a flowered knife and place almost touching in a well-buttered pan. Let it rise until light and bake in a moderate oven (325).
Word of the Week
A person supporting the end of slavery.
African American Trivia
1. Did slaves travel as far as Great Britain to find freedom?
2. What free black woman wrote Uncle Toms Cabin?
3. What document signed by President Abraham Lincoln freed all slaves?
4. What black activist proclaimed I have a dream?
Movin Right Along
Sat. Feb. 24 (10-10:30am)-Discover all the amazing ways animals have to get around. Flap, hop and scamper like the animals. Ages 2-3. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Port Republic. $3, rsvp: 410/535-5327
Fri. Feb. 23 (6-9pm)- Have fun at puzzle night with your friends and family. All Ages. North Beach Community Center: 410/257-2554.
Clifford Movies n More
Sat. & Sun. Feb 24 & 25 (2pm)-Visit for two new Clifford movies and then join in crafts such as making Clifford ears. Ages 3-5 at Zany Brainy, Annapolis Harbour Center: 410/ 266-1447.
Art, Animals & Music
Thurs. Mar 1-The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is holding an art contest with the theme of Can you draw animals to music? Drawings must be on white 81/2 by 11-inch paper. Prizes include free tuituion for an art class at Maryland hall and a basket of art supplies from Art Things Inc. Ages 6-12. Information? Call Pamela Chaconas: 410/269-1132.
QUEST for Homework success
Prince Fredrick, Tues.Feb 27 (7-8pm); Fairview Library, Tues, Mar 6 (7-8 pm); Southern Library, Wed. March 7 (7-8pm); Twin Beaches, Thurs. March 8 (7-8pm)- Ages 8-12 get tips on mastering homework: 410/535-0291.
Answers: 1. Yes 2.Harriet Beecher Stowe 3.The Emancipation proclamation 4. Martin Luther King