Numbering All the Bones Review

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“Numbering All the Bones”
Ann Rinaldi
The African-American heritage has become a very influential part of the American culture of present times. It has a long and troublesome history that leads to fulfilling their “American Dream”; a dream of hard work filled success. This hard work was introduced to the United States initially in the form of slavery. Stories of the trials, tribulations, and hardships of those indoctrinated into slavery can be educational for students of today on many levels.

The story of Eulinda, a slave in the late 1800’s, can be found within the pages of “Numbering All the Bones.” Within the story, we find that 13-year-old Eulinda, the main character, under goes many challenges and encounters many bumps in the road on her path to self-discovery. Nearing the end of the Civil War, 1864, President Lincoln invokes the Emancipation Proclamation, which is to abolish slavery. This act creates many new obstacles for our heroine and her family members to overcome. Though, it also enables Eulinda to seek self-discovery without the ties that slavery had created. Within the story, the readers find that the owner of the plantation is not only the head of household, but also Eulinda’s father. This opens the reader up to a complicated situation that occurred often within the South during the times of slavery; what to do with the child of mixed-heritage. Obviously, within these times open relationships between two ethnicities (black and white) was something that was just not done., However, it was something that happened, but was swept under the rug to keep as a deep, dark secret. In Eulinda’s case, it garnished a safe haven in the house of the master and mistress, as a house servant. The main trial is for Eulinda to find a ring that her brother Zeke had stolen from the mistress prior to his enlistment in the army. Through a course of events it is evident that her brother has been taken to Andersonville Prison, a nearby prison that has been rumored...
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