Peter York’s parent died in 1767 when Peter was twelve years old. A devout Quaker family adopted him but Peter found the strict and nearly silent Mr. Shinn, difficult. Peter learns that a large reward is offered for the return of two escaped bondsmen. Peter hopes to earn the reward so Mr. Shinn can buy a horse and return Peter’s horse to him. Peter joins Mr. Shinn and a group of men searching for the runaways. Peter spends the night on a deserted island with Mr. Shinn yearning for the chance to find the runaways. However when his change comes to corner one of the runaways Peter falls and hurts himself. Alone and hurt Peter fords a swollen river and finds himself caught in a harrowing adventure. This is a great story. It’s a good look at the early US before the American Revolution.The story is continued in Encounter at Easton.Gale
“What Price, Freedom?” It is less than a decade before the American Revolution in Pennsylvania, across from the Jersey shore, when twelve-year-oldPeter York finds himself an orphan--obliged to move in with a kindly but stern Quaker patriarch named Shinn. When the man assumes ownership of Peter’s horse, Peter feels disloyalty bubbling up within his breast. But matters come to a head when local men, bounty hunters as it were, demand Shinn’s aid (as Justice of the Peace) in searching for two runaway felons. The quiet man faces a distasteful moral dilemma, since he is naturally opposed to raising a gun against any human. Lured on by the hope of a reward which will enable him to purchase his horse back, Peter eagerly joins the hunt—until he discovers that one of the felons Transported from England is just a girl. He seesaws in his loyalty as they struggle against the river on both sides of Morgan’s rock. Will he betray his strict host/master who is sworn to uphold the Law, or turn in the two youngsters in hiding--although separated--in terror of prison?Peter comes of age that autumn, as events force him to contemplatehis loyalties and evaluate the true price of freedom. How can he win the respect of his master? Where will he finally choose to carve out his Colonial life? Despite grim reminders of 18th Century British “Justice,” this book proves interesting and fast-paced reading for middle school students. NOvember 18, 2010. I welcome dialogue with teachers.)Chad
Quaker secondary character--not a bad pictoral of Quakers of the 1700's and their role in law enforcement, despite disagreement with the slave-trade. I like that Avi's not too preachy and resists the temptation to glorify difficult choices the main character makes. Not a thriller story, kind of sleepy and slow, but truthful to the times.Julia Brumfield
This story was alright although it really didn't much of a plot going on with it. You have a young person who loses anything to start everything off and they aren't content that they have been blessed so as a result they want to start trouble at the expense of someone else. And as a result he learns that there are some things that you are better off with instead of losing and that the human bias when met with your conscious may give you an altogether different view if you just human enough. The reading was simple and easy but the characters were almost life-less. There were two characters that had plenty of muscle, which was of course the main boy and the main who took him in but otherwise the others weren't given much life. Elizabeth you learned a bit more about her but you didn't get a sense of her humanness and her friend had almost no story to him whatsoever so I would have to say this was just an ok book.J.M.
This is my second Avi book and I enjoyed it almost as much as I did the first (which was about pirates, so you know I liked it more). Avi is great at placing readers into historical settings, and really captures the emotions of his young characters well. I enjoyed this book (despite being a little uneasy about the relationship between the main character and his stepfather, though that worked out in the end).Ratforcekids
This chapter book combines both history and some adventure. This award-winning author is well known for his well-researched settings and stories with kid-appeal.Dawn
Good book. I enjoyed it, although it was somewhat too short for me as I read it in 45 minutes. As always, Avi writes well. This was rather interesting.Diana
Avi is really an interesting writer, loved this book. Read it with my 6th graders two years ago. They enjoyed it too. Great grade school writer. Love the eras in which he writes also. May have to pick up a few more for quick reads this summer.