The Story of a Kite-Flying Contest, the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, and the Underground Railroad
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.
Sophomore Cole Renner knows teamwork inside and out from running cross-country at his multi-ethnic Chicago public school. He knows about
braving the elements and not getting passed in the chute. What Cole doesn’t know is how much he’ll need all of his mental and physical skills when the heavy doors of Cook County Jail slam shut on his father, a community activist; when his English teacher catches Cole tagging the school with the F word and sentences him to write two poems a week, each on a word that starts with F; when his best friend Felipe Ramirez runs for class president against the girl who dumped him; and when the school bully prowls the halls looking for Cole and the principal seems more interested in punishing Cole than the bully. As much as Cole wants to win meets, what he wants even more is justice—for his father, for himself, for Felipe, and for his fellow students. Cole learns that actions matter, but so do words. He takes his write words (in both Spanish and English) and turns them into the right words to fight for justice.
In Sides’ tender, brilliantly-imagined collection, a young boy dreams of being a psychic like his grandmother, a desperate man turns to paper for a
miracle, a swarm of fireflies attempts the impossible, scarecrows and ghosts collide, a mother and child navigate a forest plagued by light-craving monsters, a boy’s talking dolls aid him in conquering a burning world, and a father and mother deal with the sudden emergence of wings on their son’s back. Bradley Sides is an exciting new voice in fiction. Brimming with our deepest fears and desires, his haunting debut collection of short stories examines the complexities of masculinity, home, transformation, and loss. Tenderness is illuminated by magic realism, providing rays of hope in the darkness and igniting imaginations.