I enjoyed the writing in this book and enjoyed hearing the story of a young tribal prince's descent into captivity and his ascent to freedom, as well as what he did with his freedom. I purchased the book for middle schoolers, but felt the writing is better geared toward 3-4 graders.
The history was not "whitewashed," but the horrors of the middle passage and difficulties of life were handled subtly for sensitive children. Perhaps without further study, a student might conclude that life as a slave wasn't so bad, but with additional discussion about the realities of slave trade, it will be an excellent resource. The book mentioned once that he was beaten with a whip, and mentions a few times the scars left, but because of the story's emphasis is on his willfull path toward freedom, the book has an overall positive feel and outcome. It's focus is not the illumination of terrors, but the perseverance of the human soul to long for freedom.
It's a great book to read focusing on empowerment, discipline, and hard work in the worst of situations. I would not use it to drive the point home about slave trade.
I also liked that several legal documents are inset within the story, as they made for very good reading challenges.
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Amos Fortune, Free Man Paperback – Illustrated, 1 April 1989
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Praise for Amos Fortune, Free Man The moving story of a life dedicated to the fight for freedom.--Booklist
About the Author
Elizabeth Yates (1905-2001), prolific American author, won the 1951 Newbery Medal for her novel Amos Fortune, Free Man. She also received a Newbery Honor in 1944 for Mountain Born. Nora Unwin (1907-1982) illustrated more than one hundred books for children.
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Amazon.com: 104 reviews
Inspirational story of freedom8 July 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
40 people found this helpful
My son's review.10 April 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
I did not read this book yet. The review is based on my 10 year old son's experience. He said that the beginning is slow and not "so interesting," but by the middle of the book he was hooked. He really enjoyed this book so much that he wanted to tell me all of the details. My son is high-functioning autistic and has a really difficult time getting interested in any book that doesn't involve Minecraft or Legos. With that said, he read this book in 4 days!!!! That alone is a reason to make a 5 star review.
21 people found this helpful
Highly recommended!2 June 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
I used Amos Fortune with my seventh and eighth grade literature classes. This was my first year using this book and I was concerned that it would not capture the modern teenage imagination. I was so pleased by their reactions. They loved the book, and I loved introducing them to well-written literature. I love the character qualities presented in this book. I will be teaching this one for years to come.
15 people found this helpful
A belief in yourself.23 February 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Well written children’s book and really appropriate for Black History month in the northeast.His success and respect of the entire community is a wonderful legacy for those who feel this isn’t a place for an African-American; New England. Personal best knows no bounds!
3 people found this helpful
Happy 1st Time Mom
Great read for my 7th grader15 January 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
My son chose this book to complete a book report for his English class. He actually enjoyed the book and found it interesting. He actually enjoyed it so much, after he told his grandmother about it.... she purchased it and also said it was a good book.
One person found this helpful