Taking the form of a diary and spanning just over a year, this book follows the life of a young slave girl working in the "Big House" on a farm in Virginia in 1859. Life is hard for Clotee: Although only 12yrs old, she works from dawn til dusk, at the constant call of her mistress. She learns to read while fanning her mistress's son, also 12yrs, during his lessons. Slaves are not permitted any education and she has to keep her learning secret for fear of severe punishment. However, the wind of change is blowing and 200yrs of slavery is nearing its end. Clotee gets involved with the abolitionists, helping others to reach freedom in Canada. As an adult reader, I find some young adult books a bit patronising, this, however was well written and very interesting.