William Henry is a Fine Name
The shadow of a face in the window. The quilt on the line. Howling dogs. Threatening intruders. "And a railroad that runs underground." Thirteen-year-old Robert had known little of these things growing up. His southern adolescence consisted of his mother,...
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The shadow of a face in the window. The quilt on the line. Howling dogs. Threatening intruders. "And a railroad that runs underground." Thirteen-year-old Robert had known little of these things growing up. His southern adolescence consisted of his mother, who viewed slavery as a natural part of life, and his father, whose late night disappearances were becoming more frequent and disruptive. Then there is William Henry, Robertrs" s best friend. They did everything together- until the summer of 1859. Thatrs" s when Robert realizes William Henry knows more about these late night mysteries than he does. Itrs" s also when Robert is told that William Henry is less than human . . . because he is black. Now Robert must decide for himself where he stands on slavery. With his loved ones pitted against each other, he struggles to understand justice and wonders how high a price he is willing to pay for it. And then he gets the chance to find out.
They told him his best friend wasn't human. Robert's father assisted the Underground Railroad. His mother adamantly opposed abolition. His best friend was a black boy named William Henry. As a nation neared its boiling point, Robert found himself in his own painful conflict. The one thing he couldn't do was nothing at all. William Henry is a coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old boy--and an entire country--that comes face to face with the evils of society, even within the walls of the church. In the safety of an uplifting friendship, he discovers the hope of a brighter day.
CATHY GOHLKE has had her writing featured in the books Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul and My Turn to Care: Affirmations for Caregivers of Aging Parents, as well as in magazines like Woman's World. Cathy lives in Elkton, Maryland with her husband.