Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson • TBR & Beyond Blog Tour: Interview & Review

by Bookish Coven

Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson • TBR & Beyond Blog Tour: Interview & Review


Happy Monday Coven! Today we bring you yet another blog tour! Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson is hitting the shelves pretty soon! We had a lovely interview with her and we are super excited to be sharing it with you! So, let’s get started!!

Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson • TBR & Beyond Blog Tour: Interview & ReviewFreewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson
Published on January 31, 2022 Format: eBook provided by Netgalley, TBR&Beyond
Pages: 416
Purchase Links*:
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / 19th Century, Juvenile Fiction / People & Places / United States / African American & Black

Debut author Amina Luqman-Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children's escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.

Under the cover of night, twelve-year-old Homer flees Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, unwillingly leaving their beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there's no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the swamp.

In this society created by formerly enslaved people and some freeborn children, Homer finds new friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he crafts a plan to find his mother and help his new home.

Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the South, this is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage.

This book was received for free from Netgalley, TBR&Beyond in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of this review.We'd like to thank the publishers and Netgalley, TBR&Beyond for the review copy.

❧ Bookish Coven Rating

4 Stars

-Congratulations on the release of your debut book! It’s a wonderful achievement and you should be extremely proud! What inspired you to write Freewater?

Who couldn’t be inspired by the wonderful history of enslaved people escaping and managing to create free lives in the wilderness. That makes for great storytelling. My other inspiration was my son. As parents we were searching for a way to teach him history about his enslaved ancestors. We wanted to be able to tell him that story in a way that he could best understand and that would leave him with feelings of pride and empowerment for his ancestors that would last him a lifetime. 


-Did you do any special research for the book?

I did research. I learned lots from libraries about maroon communities throughout the Americas. I was able to go to some pretty special libraries, like the Library of Congress and the State Library of Virginia. Then once I learned about the Great Dismal Swamp’s great history of maroons, I took my family there to visit. That felt special. I also met with Prof. Daniel Sayers, an archaeologist, who was doing research and finding evidence of maroons in the Great Dismal. That was really cool. 


-Can you tell us about your writing process? 

The most creative parts of my writing I like doing in the early morning, when my mind is fresh. Revisions I tend to do late into the night. I try to write something most days, although I do take some time away after finishing something big. Getting words on the page is hard, but I try to forgive myself when it doesn’t come out so great and I remind myself that there’s always space for revision. 


-What’s your favorite scene to write and why?

That’s a hard question. I get great gratification from finally getting the right flow in a pretty rudimentary scene. When it comes to favorite scenes…I love when the group leaves Freewater and goes out to hang a new sky bridge. It’s a harrowing task and Homer is fearful but he does it anyway. In my mind’s eye, that scene feels a little magical. 


-What did you find the most challenging about writing this book?

I knew I had a great subject and story potential. What was most challenging was questions if my writing could meet that potential. I knew there was a great story to be told, but having faith that I was the writer to tell it. 


-Finally, describe Freewater in 5 words.

Surprising, Plot-twisting, Page-turning, Heartfelt, Satisfying

Thanks Amina!!!

Amina’s book has such a lovely prose. Middle grade books with such a sensitive topic are an extremely valuable tool, teaching children about history and start important discussions, especially in this day and age.

It’s clear that that the book is well researched and even though Freewater is an imaginary place, the Great Dismal Swamp and the people who sought refuge there are not. I admit that this was the first time that I heard about such a place, a “space of Black resistance”, as Amina puts it. I thoroughly enjoyed “Freewater” and the story will certainly stay with me. Thanks again to TBR&Beyond for letting me participate in such a lovely book tour and to Amina for the interview!


Here is the complete blog tour:

January 31st
The Bookish Coven – Interview & Review
The Momma Spot – Promotional Post

February 1st
Djreadsbooks – Review
Sheaf and Ink – Review

February 2nd
Nine Bookish Lives – Promotional Post

February 3rd
Kait Plus Books – Interview
Stuck in Fiction – Promotional Post

February 4th
Justice For Readers – Promotional Post

February 5th
The Book Dutchesses – Promotional Post
PopTheButterfly Reads – Review

February 6th
Melancholic Blithe – Interview
The Nutty Bookworm Reads alot – Review

January 31st
tbrandbeyond – Promotional Post
the_bookish_coven – Blogger’s Choice

February 1st
djreadsbooks – Blogger’s Choice
sheafandink – Blogger’s Choice

February 2nd
ninebookishlives – Blogger’s Choice

February 3rd
luna_reads_ – Journal Spread
fangirlpixiebooks – Promotional Post
feliciareads11 – Blogger’s Choice

February 4th
justiceforreaders – Blogger’s Choice

February 5th
thebookdutchesses – Blogger’s Choice
popthebutterfly – Blogger’s Choice

February 6th
writingrosereads – Promotional Post
StitchsAddiction – Review


About Amina Luqman-Dawson

Amina Luqman Dawson is the author of the pictorial history book Images of America: African Americans of Petersburg (Arcadia Publishing). Her op-eds on race and popular culture have appeared in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more. She’s a proud mother of a 12-year-old son. Amina, her husband, and her son reside in Arlington, VA.

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