Book Review: Yellow Crocus

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Book Title: Yellow Crocus

Author: Laila Ibrahm

Genre: Historical Fiction — YA

Rating (out of 5 stars): StarStarStarStar

The bond between a young girl and her slave…

One night a slave named Mattie was taken from her home in the slave quarters and from her new born son to become a wet nurse to the Master’s baby girl, Lisbeth.  When Lisbeth’s younger brother was born the little girl was old enough to wean, and so Mattie was taken from her to nurse her brother. Young Lisbeth was unable to bear the separation, and Mattie was returned to her.  

As the years passed, a love and bond grew between Mattie and her privileged charge that was felt, yet could never be acknowledged. The young girl accompanied her Mattie to the slave quarters to visit Mattie’s son, Samuel, and the slave community.   And as she grows up with her friends in the slave quarters and her cold and distant mother, father and brother, Lisbeth learns the hard truth of slavery in Virginia.

Wonderful, yet predictable

Although quite predictable, Yellow Crocus was a warm tale of the love that can grow between a child and the woman who is forced to be her nurse. It also gave a view of the harsh life that slaves, even those closest to the family, endured.   I frequently found that the predictability helped move the story on. I would anticipate the next events, turning page after page with the hope I was wrong.

While this story is not categorized as a Young Adult book, I believe it should be. It is a story of love between a child and adult in spite of color and social barriers.   It is a book that I would highly encourage older teen aged girls to cherish.


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