Friday, March 18, 2016

Walter, Jon. My Name Is Not Friday.

Walter, Jon.  My Name Is Not Friday.      Scholastic Press  2016  368   18.99 978-0-545-85522-8 ms/hs  Historical fiction      E-BN

Samuel is a 12-year-old African-American free-born boy living in an orphanage with his little brother. Suddenly one day he is accused of a crime he did not commit and is sold at auction into slavery. He quickly learns that even on a plantation run by a kind and compassionate woman and her son, life can be very unfair and cruel. His one goal in life is to free himself from the plantation so that he can get back to his younger brother and look after him. But before he is able to even think about how this might come about, he becomes embroiled in the lives of the other slaves on the plantation, learning from them the necessities of coping with his new position. The story is very well written, and the reader becomes involved in Samuel’s life as he encounters one shocking event after another. Secondary characters are also very well drawn and appealing. The afterwards, a piece by the author on how he came to write the novel, and a note on the historical setting, add to the appeal of the novel. This one is long and involved, and will appeal to young readers who are genuinely interested in reading a picaresque novel set in the Civil-War South. It is interesting that the author is not American, but the voices in the novel ring true nonetheless. Recommended for older teens who like historical fiction.

Summary: During the Civil War, a free-born Black boy living in an orphanage, is sold into slavery and must find his way to freedom and his brother.           

Civil War-Fiction, Slavery-Fiction                                --Carol Kennedy

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