This Opening Sky

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192 pages • 5.5 in x 7.75 in • Ideal for kids 11-13 years old
Thoughtfully created by
author Kelly Hollman

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About the book


Historical fiction at its finest! A sweet and sensitive, accessible middle grade novel in verse, following an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of the American Civil War.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

“As Reconstruction begins, two 12-year-old girls join forces and head north to find their families....Elly’s and Halle’s distinct voices and strong personalities balance each other nicely as each in turn gives and receives help....A moving post–Civil War story of comradeship and self-discovery.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Civil War is over.

Aurelia, the daughter of a destitute plantation owner, reels from the aftermath of a war that has torn her life apart.

Halle, a newly freed slave, looks for a family she fears is lost forever.

When fate brings the two girls together, they head north in a joint quest for freedom: one from human shackles, the other from pride.

Differences and judgment soon give way to an unexpected friendship between two girls who have more in common than meets the eye, as do we all. Heartwarming and life-changing, This Opening Sky is a tale of hope that proves that when love overcomes prejudice, we’re all set free together.

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  • Kelly Hollman

    Kelly Hollman is the author of historical fiction for children and adults. When she’s not exploring museums, historical sites, and cemeteries, she loves to travel, knit, and read, sometimes all at once. Kelly lives in Central California with her family, numerous dogs and cats, and a goat named Lucy.

    Kelly Hollman 
  • Charlotte Watson Sherman

    Charlotte Watson Sherman was born and raised in Seattle, the Emerald City. She is a former librarian and the author of Brown Sugar Babe and Mermaid Kenzie: Protector of the Deeps (Boyds Mills & Kane/Astra Books for Young Readers). She lives in southern California.

    Charlotte Watson Sherman 
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