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A Voice for Kanzas

Have you ever walked down Massachusetts Street and tried to imagine how it looked in 1855: dirt street, wagons drawn by horses tied near boardwalks, new businesses opening their doors to early settlers? A Voice for Kanzas by Debra McArthur brings this scene to life as we are introduced to the Thomkins family. As they begin their journey from New England to the Kansas Territory, their hopes and dreams of turning Kansas into a free state will take all the strength and courage they have.  The main character is 13 year old Lucy Thomkins, a budding poet.  As new challenges face her and her family in newly settled Lawrence, Kansas, her poetry provides a powerful voice for justice.  In this moving, new fiction book, readers are given a window back in time.  Blending historical facts and fictional characters, each chapter opens with a quote from historical documents such as local newspaper The Herald of Freedom, as well as historical quotes from early settlers such as Mrs. Charles Robinson.  The historical sources at the end provide great opportunities for further reading and will be helpful for students studying Lawrence’s early history.  Written with ages 8 and up in mind, but an inspiring read for all of us who love living in this wonderful place called Lawrence, Kansas.


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  1. [...] proslavery Border Ruffians and anti-slavery Insiders, like her father. See my lovely staff member Miss Linda’s review. (Ages 11 & [...]

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