Academic journal article Language Arts

Under a Painted Sky

Academic journal article Language Arts

Under a Painted Sky

Article excerpt

Under a Painted Sky Written by Stacey Lee G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2015, 384 pp., ISBN 978-0-399-16803-1

When teaching about the 19th-century westward expansion of the United States, schools often focus on the challenges confronted by European Americans on their westward journeys, and the European American-Native American binary. Lee's novel offers a different glimpse of that era, as she details the journey of Samantha, a Chinese American born in New York City, and Annamae, an enslaved African American, as they flee St. Joseph, Missouri, and head out on the Oregon Trail. Within the first few pages of the book, Samantha is orphaned, losing her father and everything they owned in a fire. That night, she narrowly escapes rape; in protecting herself, she kills her attacker and is discovered by Annamae. Annamae, whose owner was Samantha's attacker, has a Moses wagon waiting to free her that very night. …

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