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The Poison Place

About The Book

Tour Philadelphia’s Charles Willson Peale Museum through the eyes of a man Peale enslaved in this chilling and richly detailed teen historical novel based on a true story.

One stormy night in 1827, Moses Williams leads his daughter through each room in his former home, now the Charles Willson Peale Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Moses witnessed Peale’s money troubles, troubled relationship with his eldest son, and pursuit of many different careers.

Moses himself worked steadily as he fought for his independence through an adolescent friendship turned rivalry with Peale’s son, Peale’s unfulfilled promises of freedom, and Moses’s suspicion that Peale had a hand in his own son’s death.

About The Author

Mary E. Lyons is the author of many books for children and young adults, including Roy Makes a Car, Feed the Children First, Dear Ellen Bee, Letters from a Slave Girl, and Sorrow’s Kitchen. She has received the Golden Kite Award and a Horn Book Fanfare for Letters from a Slave Girl, a 2005 Aesop Award for Roy Makes a Car, and a Carter G. Woodson Award for Sorrow’s Kitchen. A teacher and former librarian, she lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. You can learn more about her at

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