TITLE: TRAIN WATCH
GENRE: MIDDLE GRADE HISTORICAL
April 10, 1941
I hope you are doing well. PLEASE COME GET ME AND OTIS!
I’m tired of working in the field picking cotton and corn and tobacco and whatever else Grandpa Lum grows for the “BOSS MAN.” I thought slavery was over! I want to come live with you, Mama. NOW! And Mama, you’re not going to believe this, but yesterday, when me, Hattie, and Otis were out in the cotton field pulling weeds, Grandma Jenny hit me over the head with a hoe! She said I was too slow. Mama, I was just tired. Tired from walking the mile home from school. Tired from the heat. Tired from¾
Oh no. Someone’s coming up the ladder! Grandpa Lum will skin me alive if he finds me up here writing to my mama.
Shoving aside the worn notebook she was writing on, Cleo Holmes swung her brown, mosquito-bitten legs over the side of the bed, narrowly missing the jagged metal springs poking through the thin mattress.
With the finished letter still in her hand, she hurried across the room and quickly pushed aside the dark sheet of the makeshift closet. Pulling down an old, tattered shoe box from the back of the top shelf, she placed the letter in the box alongside her blue ribbon ink pen (won in a most-books-read-over-the-summer contest). She scooted to the middle of the room just as Hattie, her twelve-year-old aunt, appeared at the top of the ladder, sweat streaming down the sides of her pecan-tanned face.