Reviews for Elias de Buxton/ Elijah of Buxton
Booklist Reviews 2009 March #1
With flashes of humor, JimÚnez Rioja s Spanish rendition is as suspenseful and dramatic as the original, first published by Scholastic in 2007. From the first-person perspective of 11-year-old El├şas, Spanish speakers are exposed to the hardships of runaway slaves and the horrors of slavery. Especially appealing is the credible-sounding dialect, which lends authority to this tale of a spunky youngster navigating the Buxton Settlement, a haven for former slaves. This fine┬átranslation preserves both Curtis' humor and emotion. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
Criticas Reviews 2008 December 15th
Gr 4-8-Eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman has two claims to fame: he was the first free black to have been born in Buxton, an actual settlement in Canada established in 1849 by the abolitionist Reverend William King; and, during his infancy, he threw up all over the visiting Frederick Douglass. Elijah is an engaging protagonist, and whether he is completing his chores or lamenting his Latin studies or experiencing his first traveling carnival, his descriptions are full of charm and wonder. Although his colloquial language may prove challenging for some readers, it brings an authenticity and richness to the story that is well worth the extra effort that it might require. While some of the neighbors believe Elijah to be rather simple, and even his mother tends to overprotect her "fra-gile" boy, his true character shines out when a disaster occurs in the close community. Elijah's neighbor, Mr. Leroy, has been saving money for years to buy freedom for his wife and children who are still in the U.S. When this money is stolen, Elijah blames himself for inadvertently helping the thief and, risking capture by slave catchers, crosses the border into Detroit to get it back. His guileless recounting of the people he meets and the horrors he sees will allow readers to understand the dangers of the Underground Railroad without being overwhelmed by them. Elijah's decisions along the way are not easy ones, but ultimately lead to a satisfying conclusion. Curtis's talent for dealing with painful periods of history with grace and sensitivity is as strong as ever. [A skillful translation makes this wonderful story accessible to Spanish speakers. Recommended for public and school libraries.--Ed.] Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.