The Hostage

Saturday, November 12, 2011
“When am I going to get where I can just ‘feel’ things?” he said. “You jus’ keep on talkin’ to Marse Jesus,” Daddy Elias said. “You gonna get there.” “Through a narrow gate,” Austin said. Daddy Elias nodded. But Austin wasn’t convinced. You obviously had to be something very special before that could happen. You had to be brace and independent like Kady or spectacular like Fitz or wise like Daddy Elias or just plain good like Mother and Charlotte. And I’m not any of those, Austin thought. I thought it was all right to be who I was – but now I’m not so sure about that. Now with all these narrow gates in front of me.

Book: The Hostage (Christian Heritage Series: The Charleston Years #5) by Nancy Rue, Focus On The Family Publishing, 1998

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 10-14
Subjects: Slavery, Friendship, Trust in God, Underground Railroad
Summary: Safety routes out of the south are cut off, so even when Austin’s family tries to get to the north, they can’t. Of course, Austin isn’t at all upset about this. The more time he has with Henry-James and Charlotte the better. But it’s getting even more dangerous. His father is writing anti-slavery pamphlets and stirring up the anger against him. As his son, Austin is a prime target for the fire-breathers. And then there’s Kady. She’s found a boy she does like and recruits Austin and Polly and Charlotte’s help in sneaking off to marry him. But her secret work on the underground railroad could put Austin in even more danger.
Notes: This is the third set of books in the Christian Heritage Series. Each set focuses on a
particular time period and tells the story of a young boy growing up in that time. This set is about a young boy who has been raised as an abolitionist but is living with his uncle’s family on a plantation in the south where they don’t believe slavery is wrong. In this book, Austin learns about “narrow gates” and listening for the voice of Jesus. Twice in this book, he faces dangerous situations and has to make the choice of whether or not to take the narrow road, despite its danger. He gets introduced to the underground railroad in this book and without even realizing it, starts to truly take after his father.
Recommendation Scale: 5//5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Matthew 7:13-14 – “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


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