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Extended Audio Sample Stealing Freedom, by Elisa Carbone Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elisa Carbone Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Inspired by a true story, this is the riveting novel of a young slave girl’s harrowing escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

The moment Ann Maria Weems was born, her freedom was stolen from her. Like her family and the other slaves on the farm, Ann works from sunup to sundown and obeys the orders of her master. Then one day, Ann’s family—the only joy she knows—is gone. Just twelve years old, Ann is overcome by grief, struggling to get through each day. And her only hope of stealing back her freedom and finding her family lies in a perilous journey: the Underground Railroad.

Ann Maria Weems was an actual slave who lived in the mid-1800s near the author’s home in Maryland.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ann Maria Weems was a slave who lived in Maryland in the mid-1800s, and in the engaging, suspenseful novel Stealing Freedom, Elisa Carbone tells her story. As she wrote, Carbone painstakingly pieced Ann’s experiences together with old newspaper articles, letters found in boxes in Philadelphia and Ohio, and material culled from rare books, census and land records, wills, and graveyards. She read thousands of pages of slave narratives and recorded the emotion she heard in these men and women’s voices in her own work. The resulting novel—powerful, vivid, and a tale well told—is, according to the author, a combination of what really happened and what could have happened. Every character in her book is based on someone who lived during the nineteenth century…Young readers will be moved by her courageous journey.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Riveting…a thrilling and hopeful novel.”

    Columbus Dispatch

  • “[This] dramatic, often poignant historical novel…gives youngsters an immediate, at times thrilling, account of the workings of the Underground Railroad; the view of the Weemses' family life provides some idea of the incredible determination and ingenuity of slaves aspiring to freedom. Imaginatively and sensitively adapted from historical records, this portrait will evoke admiration for the courage of both those who resisted slavery and those who endured it.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The author has painstakingly recreated mid-nineteenth century Maryland to tell the compelling, true story of Ann Maria Weems.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “A deftly crafted story…In the author’s note, Carbone sketches the extent of her exhaustive research and provides as much further data on the characters as possible. This is a fine piece of historical fiction with a strong, appealing heroine.”

    School Library Journal

  • “This historical novel combines the appeal of exciting escape adventure with authentic details of the time and place. Carbone's research is meticulous…Of course, readers will be caught up in the suspense of narrow escapes and daring disguise on Ann’s journey with various brave conductors to freedom. The real story is in the characters’ personal lives: the sense of how it felt to be a child under slavery and to have your family broken up, your brothers sold away, then the shock of what it meant to be free. The scenes of family reunion are heartfelt drama.”


  • “This compelling tale of a passenger on the Underground Railroad is entirely populated with historical figures; not since Gary Paulsen’s Nightjohn has the physical and emotional impact of slavery been made so palpable…A richly detailed society emerges, in which the powerless hold their own through quick wit and strength of character and the powerful, scarred by the fact of slavery, know little real peace. Varying in tone from devastating simplicity to subtle irony underlying scenes in which abolitionists gather to fuss over Ann Marie as if she were some rare animal, this story pays tribute to the power of the very idea of freedom.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “There is great insight into the inner workings of the Underground Railroad including people in other countries, aside from just running and brief shelters in the dead of night…The narration was clear and satisfying with voice changes to distinguish between characters and convincing accents (Irish, southern) when applicable; the speed, pleasantly conversational. Highly recommended.”

    Children’s Literature (audio review)

  • “The Underground Railroad takes center stage in Elisa Carbone’s story…Robin Miles’ narration is strong…This compelling audiobook will be useful in social studies classes serving upper elementary and middle school students.”

    School Library Journal (starred audio review)

  • “Robin Miles brings the struggles and triumphs of one slave family to life with her expressive voice and emotional reading. Miles captures the vocal cadences of these Maryland slaves, and her deep tones, even and tempered but never meek, transport the listener into their lives. The stilted Irish brogue of the Prices, the family that owns Ann and her family, is a counterpoint to the voices of the close-knit Weems family. As Ann, assisted by abolitionists, makes her escape to Canada, she encounters many who help her—from the lawyer Mr. Bigelow, who is portrayed in a straightforward, relaxed voice, to the minister who accompanies Ann on the train across the border, whose voice is alternately weary and full of excitement at his part in securing her freedom. Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • A ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • Finalist for the Young Hoosier Book Award
  • Finalist for the Maryland Children’s Book Award
  • Finalist for the Grand Canyon Reader Award
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author
Author Elisa Carbone

Elisa Carbone, a multi-award-winning author of novels for children and young adults, devotes much time to researching the historical facts that are the basis for her novels. Her passion for North Carolina’s Outer Banks, which is the setting for her novel Storm Warriors, began with windsurfing and increased when she learned about the fascinating history of the Outer Banks. Her love of history is also evident in Stealing Freedom, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed novel Starting School with an Enemy.