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Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom Paperback – December 31, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10AWith characteristic scholarship, clarity, insight, and compassion, Myers presents readers with the facts and the moral and historical significance of the Amistad episode. Archival photographs and artwork, newspaper accounts and correspondence, and interpretive text reveal the dramatic story of the captive Africans who mutinied against their slaver crew and accidentally landed in the United States instead of back in Africa. From their imprisonment in 1839, through two years of court battles ending up in the Supreme Court, this group of Africans, led by their striking spokesman, Sengbe (Cinque), aroused the moral conscience of America. The complicated issues involved are explained within the context of the times when tension in the United States between antislavery and slaveholding forces was escalating. The author tells the human story along with the legal story: the search for an interpreter to deliver Sengbe's testimony; the despair of the Africans who could not comprehend the reason for their imprisonment; the fascination of Americans with these proud, unyielding captives; and the dilemma of major historical personalities who dealt with this controversy. This story is not the movie screenplay. Although the topic is timely, Myers offers readers a well-researched, documented, nonfictionalized account of this far-reaching episode. Frequent black-and-white maps, drawings, and diagrams add to an understanding of this tragic event.AGerry Larson, Durham Magnet Center, Durham, NC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5^-9. Like Jurmain, Myers gives a dramatic factual account of the capture in West Africa, the hellish journey aboard the slave ship on the Middle Passage, the sale in Cuba, the mutiny led by Sengbe on the Amistad as it sailed from Cuba, the forced landing in Connecticut, the subsequent court trials in the U.S., and the final struggle to return home. The design is clear and readable, with spacious type, historic photographs and prints, a time line, a map showing the voyages of the captives, and a bibliography. Myers includes considerable detail drawn from primary reports but no source notes. The narrative is exciting, not only the account of the uprising but also the tension of the court arguments about whether the captives were property and what their rights were in a country that banned the slave trade but allowed slavery. Myers distinguishes among the various captives, quoting the children and the adults, as well as their great leader, Sengbe, who wanted to get home. Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (December 31, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141300043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141300047
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,632,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Walter Dean Myers is a New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author who has garnered much respect and admiration for his fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. Winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas O'Rourke on June 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Myers, Walter Dean (1998) Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom. New York: Dutton Children's Books and DreamWorks. 99pgs. ISBN: 0-525-45970-7. Chapter and Picture Book. Primary Topics: Slavery, Abolitionism, US Political, Legal History; Ethnicity, Morality, Diversity. Young Adult -- Grade 5-9.
This book is a marvelously drawn narrative history of the Amistad saga that begins with a contextual portrait of the Atlantic slave trade which was by 1808 illegal, though still widely practiced as this case shows. Myers traces the dramatic journey of Sengbe, a rice farmer in Mani and the future leader of the ship-board revolt from his capture by other Africans and sale to a Spanish slave-trader to the horrible Middle Passage to Cuba and the eventual landing on Long Island and capture by US Navy personal. It is in New London and New Haven, Connecticut that this case begins a near three-year legal, moral, and political conflict that touched the United States profoundly at the time and for years afterwards. Myers describes and analyzes in minute yet engrossing detail the legal battle waged between the forces of slavery and the forces of abolition in this country while never losing sight of the fascinating personalities involved. Using historic maps, engravings, and photographs, and displaying some painstaking research into primary sources (without source notes), Myers makes the case come alive and provides an engaging companion work to Spielberg's motion picture (DreamWorks owns part of the copyright), going beyond the time scope of the movie to follow many of the characters after their victorious Supreme Court case to an abolitionist community in Connecticut and eventually home to Africa. One of Africans even returned again to America to attend college!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Revollo on September 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Amistad shows what happended in the 1800's based on slavery with Africans who were kidnaped by white people who did not spoke thier language, how the fed them almost like dogs, how the crew treated the African women, how they decided who died and who lived and the people who died throw them of the boat, it was awful, how people bought slaves under the table around the world.
Eventhough I only saw the movie it made me understand that Africans and colored people at that time where treated like animals, they didn't have rights as human beings and white people were the "Kings or Gods" who rule the world, they decided they where the superior race or something like that.
In my opinion this movie or book would be helpful for future generations so that humanity doesn't repeat this errors that where commited in the past to make them understand that that is not right, eventhough some people doesn't care about religion to teach them that God doesn't care about race he cares about us human beings, on what we do and whom we love, and even with technology we don't rule the world because we don't really have the power. Just because a contry has the money of the world doesen't mean we rule other contries or make a club whom their objective is beating other people just because they are not the same as them the only one who judge us is God and God alone.
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By Jenoah21stC on March 20, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent Service and product.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was turned into a movie, but like most books, it's better than the movie. It's hard to imagine that such things happened, but they really did. I'd liek to learn more about the people on the ship and thier lives once they got home and to freedom
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By J. C. Dubois on January 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good Book!
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