Thirteen-year-old Samantha Crow is living near a small village not far from Yorktown, Va. in 1781, when her father and brother join the Virginia militia. Begrudgingly, she stays behind to help her mother run a small farm and care for her younger siblings. One day her life changes in an instant. She is in her tree house, day dreaming, during a rare free moment. Then she heard it, the sound of a gun shot, causing her to bolt upright to a sitting position.
She listened, seemingly without breathing, as horses' hooves came to a stop. She heard a second shot, followed by one set of horse hooves galloping away. Samantha's heart was pounding as silence stretched into minutes. She climbed down and carefully made her way along the steep path leading up to the dusty road. She crept higher and came up silently behind a boulder near the road.
She looked around the rock and saw legs with boots pointing toward the sky. They were not moving. As she came around, she saw a man, and his eyes held hers in a plea. His lips whispered "please" as he pulled a paper from inside his shirt. He held it out for Samantha to take and pushed his last words out. "Must...get this...to Washington." Young Adult readers and "tweens" will enjoy finding out about the freed slave/spy who gives her the note and the heart wrenching decisions she makes, which put her own life in danger to help her country during the American Revolution. Will she ever see the young Private First Class Sutter again and the beautiful brown horse with liquid eyes?