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Extended Audio Sample The Freedom Maze, by Delia Sherman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (257 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Delia Sherman Narrator: Robin Mile Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Set against the burgeoning Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and then just before the outbreak of the Civil War, The Freedom Maze explores both political and personal liberation and how the two intertwine. 

In 1960, thirteen-year-old Sophie isn’t happy about spending the summer at her grandmother’s old house in the Bayou. But the house has a maze Sophie can’t resist exploring once she finds it has a secretive and mischievious inhabitant. 

When Sophie, bored and lonely, makes an impulsive wish, she slips back one hundred years into the past to the year 1860. She hopes for a fantasy book adventure with herself as the heroine. Instead, she gets a real adventure in the race-haunted world of her family’s Louisiana sugar plantation in 1860, where she is mistaken for a slave. 

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is still two years in the future. The Thirteen Amendment—abolishing and prohibiting slavery—will not be not passed until April 1864. 

Muddy and bedraggled, Sophie obviously isn’t a young lady of good breeding. She must therefore be a slave. And she is.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This multilayered story combines fantasy, clever literary allusions, and societal observations into a unique coming-of-age story.”


  • “Multilayered, compassionate, and thought-provoking, a timely read on the sesquicentennial of America’s Civil War.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Sherman has created a finely honed work of art, a novel that deals eloquently with complex and intersecting issues of race, womanhood, class, and age. In transporting the reader so fully into another time, The Freedom Maze becomes timeless.”

    Alaya Dawn Johnson, author of Moonshine

  • “A seamless blending of wondrous American myth with harsh American reality, as befits young Sophie’s coming-of-age. I think younger readers and adults alike will be completely riveted by her magical journey into her own family’s double-edged past.”

    N. K. Jemisin, author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

  • “Beautifully imagined and told with satisfyingly matter-of-fact detail: pot liquor and spoon bread, whips and Spanish Moss, corset covers and vévés and bitter, healing herbs. The Freedom Maze is deep, meaningful fun.”

    Nisi Shawl, author of Filter House

  • One of the 2011 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Children
  • A 2013 Audie Award Finalist for Children's Titles for Ages 8-12
  • Winner of the 2012 Mythopoeic Award for Children's Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tara | 2/19/2014

    " I don't usually like time slip fiction, but this one was really well done. Definitely young adult fiction and a bit dated, at that, but it has an ageless appeal. One thing I wish was that the story within the story had a more satisfying conclusion. The fact that it didn't is one reason why I so easily classify it as young adult fiction. Still, it's an engaging read and I'd recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by April Henry | 1/20/2014

    " Thought provoking and well-researched. It's kind of a double time-travel story, because even the "current" portion of the story is set in 1960. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sue | 1/10/2014

    " Excellent. Take total crap like the Help and shames it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Suzanne | 12/27/2013

    " I love time travel books and this one is unique because the heroine travels back in time to become a slave so we learn a lot about life in the south before the Civil War. "

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