Two boys meet on a voyage that transforms their lives.
Madu, a young African, is captured by the English slave-trader Sir John Hawkins. Tom Oakley is a young sailor in charge of the slaves. At first, the two boys hate each other. But as the story develops, their roles are reversed, and they become closer friends than either would have once believed possible.
This is a fast-moving drama based around real historical events - history as you never learned in school!
©2013 Tim Vicary (P)2015 Tim Vicary
I love that this novel turns the concept of slavery on its head. It forces readers to question how slavery comes about and to what degree it defines those who are enslaved. For students, I appreciate the complexity of two stories becoming one. It is a technique that not many novels for your people use.
Madu was definitely the most intriguing character. His dignity, fear, naivety, and strength were inspiring.
I most appreciated the narration of the settings. It brings Madu and Tom's world to life, especially for young listeners.
I offered this novel as a choice for my 9th grade students in our historical fiction unit, and I am so glad I did. Students were engaged and intrigued and learned tremendous amounts about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade as well as universal themes. I can't wait to teach it again next year!
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