Title: The Day I Saw the Hummingbird
Author: Paulette Mahurin
On the eve of his tenth birthday, a young slave’s life is turned upside down. The unthinkable events that led up to the day Oscar Mercer saw a hummingbird test the limits of this young boy’s body, mind and soul. Gripped with fear and filled with anger, Oscar faces raw, crushing hatred aimed at him and everyone he loves. In a time when a nation was ripped apart geographically, economically, politically and morally, comes a story of a courageous boy who began life as a slave on a sugarcane plantation in Louisiana and escapes via The Underground Railroad. Through the efforts and good will of kind, brave people determined to free slaves, Oscar faces devastating obstacles and dangers. Struggling with his inner impulse to seek revenge for the injustices and violence levied on his family and friends, he discovers that in bondage you pray to God, but in freedom, you meet Him. From the award-winning, best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes a story that brings another cadre of memorable characters alive on pages that pulse with hatred and kindness, cruelty and compassion, despair and hope. Oscar’s journey on the Underground Railroad is a heart-pounding ride that the reader will remember long after this story ends.
Beautiful in the haunting writing, this story documents the life that Oscar faced in slavery. At the hands of a cruel owner, young Oscar was forced to face many injustices and overtime they filled him with a general loathing for mankind. Oscar’s mother did what she could to teach him things to expand the world around him and to keep him from being overrun with hate. At the time of her death though, she encouraged him to do what she hadn’t been able to—to escape.
The harrowing journey sees Oscar through the Underground Railroad and expresses the hope, frustration, and loss that he felt on his way to freedom.
The author certainly has a way of making the emotions of her characters vivid. Reading through this book makes it all too easy to put yourself in Oscar’s place, to feel his fear, anguish, and determination.
That being said, this is a very hard book to get through for some of the things that Oscar endures, but it is a must read.