NONFICTION
Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared To Run Away
DUNBAR, Erica Armstrong & . 256p. chron. maps. S. & S./Aladdin. Jan. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534416178.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 5 Up—This young readers edition of Dunbar's National Book Award–nominated title details the account of Ona Judge, who ran away from the household of George and Martha Washington. Born into slavery at Mount Vernon, Judge began working directly for Martha Washington by the age of 10. When the Washingtons left Mount Vernon for George's political career, Judge was chosen to make the trip north, visiting and eventually living in Pennsylvania and New York. Away from the sheltered world of Virginia, Judge encountered free black people for the first time and learned about laws such as the Gradual Abolition Act in Pennsylvania. The Washingtons went to great lengths to prevent those they enslaved from benefitting from this law. In May of 1796, then 22-year-old Judge walked out of the Washington's mansion in Philadelphia and onto the deck of a ship that would take her to New Hampshire. Although she was never able to live comfortably, she refused to go back to a life of slavery—no matter how determined George and Martha Washington were to reenslave her. This well-written story has been skillfully reconstructed from the sparse historical record available and delicately adapted for middle schoolers. Dunbar and van Cleve effectively and consistently convey the realities of being enslaved—and invite readers to empathize with Judge.
VERDICT A brilliant work of U.S. history. Recommended for all collections.

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