Book cover: Freestyle by Monica Baker
Freestyle is an interesting fictional take on a very historic setting. Freestyle is about a boy named Mitch who forcibly enters the world of Patty Cannon through his dreams. Patty Cannon is a horrible villain who lived in the early 19th century. She attempts to keep Mitch hostage in his dreams, and Mitch must fight through the world of slavery and pain to be free.
Maryland author, Monica Baker, has created a brilliant character with Patty Cannon. Cannon lived by the common theory for villains: you have to fight to get what you want, and you have to make people fear you if you want them to listen. Even more remarkable was the revelation that Patty Cannon is a real historical figure. The reader can sense the authenticity of Cannon through Baker’s writing.
When I interviewed Baker, she elaborated on her faithful treatment of Patty Cannon. “I would have loved to write more detail about her, but there is not much written about her in archives and I didn't want to make up detail of an actual historical character,” wrote Baker.
Patty Cannon was by far the best part of the book, and some of the transitions from modern-day life to life in the 1800s were very intriguing. While I would have liked to have seen a bit more detail about Mitch’s experience in the 1800s, the overall plot was very captivating. However, Baker agrees that “too much detail will slow a story down.”
All in all, Freestyle is a book for those of us who enjoy adventure, but also love to learn something new.
7th grader Sydney Sauerwalt, Hammond Middle School, Howard County, wrote her best story in her uncle’s basement.