Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

The Other Side of Free

by Krista Russell

Jem has escaped from slavery. Now it’s up to him to decide what he believes, who he trusts, and what freedom really means.

In 1739, England and Spain are on the verge of war and former slaves are arriving at Fort Mose in St. Augustine, where the Spanish will give them their freedom in exchange for their loyalty. Fourteen-year-old Jem has escaped a cruel master but is now in the custody of Phaedra, a difficult and angry woman. He thought he was free, he thought he was a man, but Phaedra takes every opportunity to remind him that he’s still a child. As the threat of war becomes more real, Jem starts to understand the meaning of freedom.

Krista Russell’s action-packed historical adventure, provides readers with a chance learn, along with Jem, the complex connections that make a community and the significance of true freedom.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-710-6
Publication Date: 10/1/2013
Page Count: 256
Size: 6 ̎ x 8-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 10 – 14
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-876-9
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 4.6
GRL: X, Gr 6
Lexile: 650L
Themes: Colonial History, Community, Freedom, Loyalty, Slavery
BISAC 1: JUV016120 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / Colonial & Revolutionary Periods
BISAC 2: JUV011010 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / African American
BISAC 3: JUV001000 JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General


“Readers will be immersed in the suspenseful intrigue and Jem’s battle for freedom.” ―School Library Journal

“A moving portrayal of a young teen yearning for a chance to be a hero.” ―Booklist

“Russell illuminates a little-known piece of American history in this well-researched novel for middle-grade readers… The unfamiliar but engrossing topic and fast-paced action will keep readers interested…a welcome and well-written work of history.” ―Kirkus Reviews

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“A superbly crafted historical novel…as accurately informative as it is solidly entertaining.… Highly recommended for school and community library collections.” ―The Midwest Book Review

“A rich and readable historical novel about a compelling aspect of American history.” ―Parents’ Choice




Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2013

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Middle School / Junior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2014

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Meet the Author

Krista Russell is a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular fiction program. A Massachusetts native, she now lives in Georgia. You can visit her website here.