Black Angels

When eleven-year-old Luke runs off from the only home he’s ever known, he hopes to join up with some Union soldiers. He wants to fight for freedom. But instead he finds nine-year-old Daylily, scared and alone, lost in the woods. Luke immediately starts to feel responsible for her. And when he finds another child, seven-year-old Caswell, the white son of a plantation owner, who is also lost, Luke’s dream of fighting for freedom feels farther and farther away.

Luke only knows they must head North. It’s getting colder and the woods are a dangerous, harrowing place to be. There’s always the sound of gunfire in the distance, and to survive, they even have to resort to taking coats and canteens off the bodies of dead soldiers. After weeks in the woods, and with Daylily deathly ill, they all just long to be someplace they can call home again. They miss their families terribly, but through their struggles, Luke, Daylily, and Caswell all know they have each other, and their bond proves even stronger than family.

An affecting, poignant look at the Civil War through the eyes of children caught in the crossfire, Black Angels is a very special read that won’t soon be forgotten.

To your copy on Amazon, please click here.

Awards and Recognition for Linda's book Black Angels:

***Black Angels selected as one of the
Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best Books" of 2009!
The Best of the Best list is presented in workshops to hundreds of public and school librarians from across Chicago, distributed to bookstores and put into wide release in the Chicago media. The complete annotated list will be available in early 2010 at  You can also view the list by clicking here.

Praise for Black Angels

Shelia P. Moses
Author of the Coretta Scott King Honor-winning and National Book Award Finalist The Legend of Buddy Bush

“This novel and the character Luke will move readers like Huckleberry Finn moved us on the Mississippi River 100 years ago.”

Sharon G. Flake
Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of The Skin I’m In

“Young people will be reading Black Angels for generations. Teachers will be assigning it and studying it for ages. It’s a history lesson, adventure story, and a lesson in love, surviving tough times, and depending on God and one another, all at the same time . . . I loved every word.”

Alice Randall
Songwriter and Author of The Wind Done Gone; Pushkin and the Queen of Spades;
and Rebel Yell

“The American Revolution has Johnny Tremain, now the Civil War has Black Angels.
Linda Beatrice Brown does a superb job of evoking the beauty of the natural world,
the complexity of spirituality, and the significance of choosing ones own family as seen
through the eyes of three young people on the run from death and loss.”
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Nikki Giovanni
Author of over 30 books, Award Winning Poet, and University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech

“Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown has found a way to bring home the sadness and the hope of The Civil War. Children finding themselves in the woods must find a way to cooperate to survive. But survival is not efficient: they must also find a way to love. What could easily have become a cloying story has instead emerged as all our stories, as we, in this modern age of financial and emotional difficulties, find ourselves in a political forest trying to find a way to be fair and just and caring while understanding that our better selves are not always on display. Black Angels needs a cup of hot cinnamon tea, a blanket across our knees and a little bit of our time to go on a marvelous journey to America’s best self when we struggled to free the future of hate and fear.”

Edward P. Jones
Noted fiction author awarded the prized MacArthur Fellowship, and winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for The Known World, a novel set in Virginia prior to the Civil War.

“Black Angels is -- if my memory does not fail me -- the first "young readers" novel I've ever read. Had I known such a category of literature could contain the kind of well-realized and skillfully rendered world as we find in black angels, I would have been here ages ago. With her Luke, Daylily and Caswell, Dr. Brown has presented her readers with people as well-rounded and as poignant as any to be found in "adult" fiction. Her three major characters offer a civil war landscape that is even more tragic and heartfelt and devastating because it comes through the eyes of the most innocent and vulnerable in any war.”

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