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Authors: Sharon Lovejoy

Running Out of Night

BOOK: Running Out of Night
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This is a work of fiction. All incidents and dialogue, and all characters with the exception of some well-known historical and public figures, are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Where real-life historical or public figures appear, the situations, incidents, and dialogues concerning those persons are fictional and are not intended to depict actual events or to change the fictional nature of the work. In all other respects, any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

Text and map copyright © 2014 by Sharon L. Lovejoy
Jacket art copyright © 2014 by Meagan Bennett

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Random House LLC.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Patrice Vecchione and Palanquin Press/Community Publishing for permission to reprint “Bless” from
The Knot Untied
.
Reprinted by permission of Patrice Vecchione and Palanquin Press/Community Publishing (2013).

The spelling and treatment of common names of bird species follow
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
, 11th edition.

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Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Lovejoy, Sharon.
Running out of night / Sharon Lovejoy. — First edition.
pages cm
Summary: “Journey of an abused twelve-year-old white girl and an escaped slave girl who run away together and form a bond of friendship while seeking freedom”—Provided by publisher.
ISBN 978-0-385-74409-6 (hc) — ISBN 978-0-375-99147-9 (glb)
ISBN 978-0-385-37846-8 (ebook) [1. Friendship—Fiction. 2. Runaways—Fiction.
3. Fugitive slaves—Fiction. 4. Race relations—Fiction. 5. African Americans—Fiction.]
I. Title.
PZ7.L956045Ru 2014

[Fic]—dc23
2013026375

Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

v3.1

To Sara May, Moses John, and Luke Edwin Arnold;
and to Ilyahna and Asher Prostovich—
you’re the brightest stars in my sky
.
Thank you for lighting my way
.

Contents

Could this be the beginning of something?
Will hatred have to back up
an inch or two, stumble, then slink
behind the corner, shamefaced?


P
ATRICE
V
ECCHIONE
, “
B
LESS

A
LONG
THE BANKS OF THE
C
ATOCTIN
C
RICK IN
V
IRGINIA
, 1858

 

M
emories must be tended like a fire, elstwise they’ll die
.

M
ama give her last breath just as I took my first.

Although Pa and my big brothers never said they blamed me for her death, I always felt it achin inside me, like the rotten tooth our blacksmith pliered out of my mouth. Why else would a pa and his boys let a little girl come into the world and live for twelve years without givin her a name?

My brothers and Pa always looked through me, as though I weren’t but a thin sheet of mica between them and the world. Sometimes I had to step outside to see my shadow afore I knowed for sure that there were a real person inside me.

Even though I never knowed Mama, I pieced her together in my head the way I made my patchwork rag doll, Hannah. After my grandpa passed and his stories about my mama quieted, I grabbed on to the threads of Pa’s and my brothers’ mentions of her, which weren’t often, and needled them into my own life.

S
top a sneeze before it comes to the table or death will visit soon
.

“G
irl!” Pa shouted, and slammed his fist on the table. “More scrapple. I tole you plenty of times, I don’t want nothin useless on my farm. You’d best start earnin your keep.”

“My farm,” he’d said, but as long as I were alive, it would always belong to my grandpa. Pa never worked the farm; he were born tired and raised lazy.

I scrambled acrost the dark kitchen and scraped the leavins out of the iron skillet and onto his plate. Pa never looked up or thanked me. He leant low over his food, turned his spoon sideways, and pushed big chunks of greasy scrapple into his mouth.

I hid my eyes behind a curtain of hair and looked for the best way out. Though I knowed every bit of this kitchen, from the ceilin beams hung with herbs to the wide pine floorboards, I needed a clear pathway, free of guns and legs. When Pa got into one of his moods, I had to get out of his way—and fast. I felt the hot flush move up my neck and flare into my cheeks the way it always does when I am mad. I didn’t want Pa to feel my scairt or see my mad or I’d get kicked like one of the huntin hounds.

BOOK: Running Out of Night
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ads

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