I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl is a fictional diary by Joyce Hansen, her only book for the series. It was the seventh book in Scholastic's Dear America. The book was published in October 1997 and republished in July 2011 with new cover art.
- "Sunday, August 20, 1865
Dear Friend, The children were so happy to see me this morning. They ran over when I reached the arbor. I felt as though my soul would rise and fly, as our song says. We walked together to the spinning house. I will call it a schoolroom—even though it's not a real schoolroom, and I am not a real teacher. I gave each older child a paper with all of the letter, just he way Annie and Charles's teacher used to do.... One of the old women said to me, "You such a quiet little thing, but you sho' know how to teach them letters." I surprised myself when I said thank you without stammering."
- "My name is Patsy. This is my story....
Patsy, an orphaned slave, has taught herself to read and write on the sly. After the Civil War ends and slavery is abolished, Patsy believes her master will keep his word and pay the former house slaves and provide an education for the slave children. But when Master Davis ignores his promise to establish a school, and the Freedmen's Bureau can't send a teacher, Patsy steps in to teach the students, old and young, to read and write. Patsy's diary is filled with courage, conviction, and hope as she strives toward freedom—freedom from slavery and freedom from the limitations placed on her by others."
- Main article: List of I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly characters
- Main article: Joyce Hansen