A Day To Pick Your Own Cotton

Sunday, September 7, 2014
We knew we were facing a crossroads. If we didn’t do something, and soon, our little game of trying to make this plantation work by ourselves would be over. People would take us away and all four of us would go our separate ways. There was just about nothing in the world I hated more than picking cotton. But for some reason now I was almost looking forward to it. Having it be our own cotton, and knowing we had to do it to survive and keep going and eat and take care of ourselves and to protect Emma and William and save Rosewood for Katie – all that made it seem completely different.

Book:A Day to Pick Your Own Cotton by Michael Phillips, Bethany House Publishers, 2003
14669EB: Day to Pick Your Own Cotton, A - eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 16+
Subjects: Civil War, Slavery, Friendship, Faith, Prayer
Summary: Their little family is growing and so is the amount of work it takes to keep the plantation running and their secret hidden. Mayme and Katie have been joined by a young girl with her newborn son, a little girl who’s mother died trying to escape an abusive husband, and an old kitchen slave from the same plantation Mayme came from. More and more visitors from town keep appearing and more work needs done to keep the plantation running. No one can find out that it’s only teenage girls and children on the plantation or it will be taken away from them in an instant. The debt at the store in town grows larger as the girl struggle to decide how to survive. It will come down to the enemy of all slaves in the south: cotton. Can some girls and children really pick enough cotton to pay off the debts? It’s time for them to find out.
Notes: A Day To Pick Your Own Cotton is the second in the Shenandoah Sisters series. The series tells how two 16 year old girls survive after the Massacre of Shenandoah County – where a gang of outlaw Confederate deserters killed a bunch of people. In this story, everyone on the two plantations they live on is killed. Mayme mindlessly wanders away and finds herself at Katie’s plantation just as Katie comes up from the cellar she hid in. The two girls stick together out of necessity for a couple of day and become close friends. Towards the end of the book they make the decision to fool people into believing Katie’s family is still alive.
This book continues the story as the girls start to do more than just get by and mourn their losses. With the others coming to join them at the plantation Katie and Mayme take on responsibility for providing for everyone. The spiritual issue dealt with in the book is the very nature of God. The girls realize that neither one of them knows much about God or how to follow Him and so they pray and ask God to teach them. Soon after that Mayme feels a clear answer from God telling her to stay at Rosewood.
As with the others in the series, predjuice is greatly dealt with. Katie and Mayme have overcome many of the challenges, but when the little girl comes to join them, she has to overcome the lies she has been taught by her father. She’s always understood blacks to be inferior and worthy of disrespect. Seeing the love between Mayme and Katie changes her outlook. Others in the story still treat Mayme with disrespect and Mayme has to wrestle with that.
I highly recommend this series.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Galatians 5:13 – You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.


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