“Passenger on the Pearl: The True Story of Emily Edmonson’s Flight from Slavery” by Winifred Conkling. Algonquin Young Readers, 2015. $17.95.

This engaging non-fiction book follows the life of Emily Edmondson from her early years as an enslaved child through her harrowing experiences to escape bondage, including an ill-fated escape on the ship The Pearl, to her ultimate freedom and important role as an abolitionist and teacher.

Sidebars in the book provide interesting backgrounds to events, places and people including Harriet Beecher Stowe who aided in Emily’s escape and modeled one of her characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin on Emily.

Written for ages 12 and up, this is an excellent example for students on the use of primary source material to construct an historical narrative. Pamphlets, illustrations, photographs, maps and personal letters supplement the text superbly. A must-have for public and school libraries and history classrooms.

— Laura Acosta, Baton Rouge

“Lessons From A Dog” by Patrick Moberg. Plume, 2014. $13.

If you’ve got canine friends, this is a great little book for you. Illustrator Patrick Moberg rendered a colorful, (mostly) happy little book that would make an excellent gift for the dog-lover in your life. For me, you can’t go far wrong with cute dog pictures, and some of Moberg’s are adorable.

— Beth Colvin, bcolvin@theadvocate.com