Synopsis: Can a kite change history? Katie and Homan’s did.
When engineers were faced with the challenge of bridging the vast Niagara Gorge, the solution was a kite-flying contest. After Katie and Homan’s kite crosses the gorge and wins the contest, construction begins on the first suspension bridge to connect the United States and Canada. The two friends are there as it becomes an important link on the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom. Even as her parents try to shield her from the ugly existence of slavery and the dangers of the Underground Railroad, Katie discovers that the scary truth is closer to home than she could have imagined. Kite to Freedom is an action-packed, fictionalized account of actual events that occurred during the construction of the Niagara Falls International Suspension Bridge, which still connects the United States and Canada at Niagara Falls.
Release Date: 1st March 2021
Format Read: Ebook
Genres: Middle Grade, Historical, Friendship,
Thank you so much to Cross Your Fingers and Netgalley for the earc to read and review.
Review: The story follows a young girl named Katie as she grows up, starting with a kite flying contest she enters with her friend Homan to guide the construction workers who are building a suspension bridge from New York to Canada. But that bridge was used for something even more vital and important.
I liked this story it was interesting learning about the contest to see who could get their kite safely to the other side and help with the bridge getting built. I liked that Katie and Homan were friends and that they were always helping each other. I liked that Katie eventually learnt everything about the slaves, about their need and right to freedom and also about the kind, good deeds that people secretly did to help in the Underground Railroad using that bridge.
The story jumped very very quickly in my opinion one chapter Katie was 11, then 14 and suddenly she was a woman at 19. The story was good but I think could possibly have been stretched out with more details of the Underground Railroad, we only touched on the subject and I felt like there was a lot more that could have been said and done.
The illustrations were also really beautiful, I loved that they were in black and white as it made perfect sense for the story and they gave a beautiful visual whilst reading.
Overall I liked this story a lot, I would have loved more detail and it to be a bit longer but it was still a very good book, very informative, very sweet protagonist and it was fascinating to learn something I’d never know about before which was about the bridge. Plus we also get to meet Harriet Tubman, which I wasn’t expecting in this story, I loved that.
Where to buy: Amazon, Wordery, Book Depository
About Author: Kathleen A. Dinan was inspired to write this book by her father. She was born in Buffalo, New York, and lived most of her adult life in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, where she raised her three children. A graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law, she worked in New York City for many years.
About Illustrator: Iris M. Kirkwood, a self-taught visual artist, was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, just a few miles from Niagara Falls. She used elements of the story, the setting, the young characters, and her unique point of view, combined with digital and traditional tools, to create the visual narrative for this story. Her work is in private collections as well as exhibited in galleries and museums.