Stealing Freedom

Stealing Freedom
Paperback Edition

Twelve-year-old Ann Maria Weems works from sunup to sundown, wraps rags around her feet in the winter, and must do whatever her master or mistress orders--but she has something that many plantation slaves don't have. She has her wonderful family around her. To Ann, her teasing brothers, her older sister, and her protective and loving parents are everything. And then one day, they are gone.

Separated from her family by her master and shipped off as a housemaid, Ann learns something about independence and about love before the opportunity for escape arrives. A white man risks his life for Ann, cuts her hair short, dresses her like a boy, and launches her on her journey on the Underground Railroad to Canada, her family, and finally to freedom.

Until she was a teenager, Ann Maria Weems lived in the mid-1800s near the author's home in Maryland. This fictionalized account of her extraordinary life is ideal for students, teachers, and parents hungry for interesting and informative reading in African-American history and the Underground Railroad.

Awards and Honors

  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • Joan Sugarman Award honorable mention
  • Maryland Children’s Book Award nominee
  • Arizona Young Readers Award nominee
  • Young Hoosier Book Award nominee
  • Mark Twain Award master list
  • Virginia Jefferson Cup Award worthy of special note
  • Starred reviews: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus
  • Danish translation
  • EMC Paradigm Masterpiece Series Access Edition
  • Featured on C-SPAN Book TV



Original Cover
Original Cover

Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Imaginatively and sensitively adapted from historical records, this portrait will evoke admiration for the courage of both those who resisted slavery and those who endured it." 

"...combines the appeal of exciting escape adventure with authentic details of the time and place. Carbone's research is meticulous...."

Kirkus, pointer review
"Varying in tone from devastating subtle irony...this story pays tribute to the power of the very idea of freedom."
The once mysterious "Dr. H." who we now know was Dr. Ellwood Harvey, with his horse, Lucifer.
Many thanks to Steve Harvey, Dr. Ellwood Harvey's great-great-great grandson for this photo.