From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-A well-researched story told from the point of view of a nine-year-old slave. Caesar misses his happy-go-lucky childhood when he could play freely with the plantation owner's son. He resents the separation of his family when his sister is sent to the big house, and his father is hired out to do carpentry work in Williamsburg. Even after his mother explains their status as slaves, Caesar has difficulty accepting his fate, and he rebels when he is chosen to train as a personal servant to his former playmate. His impulsive behavior is covered up by protective older slaves and by the young plantation heir himself. When the boy witnesses a slave auction and is totally disheartened, his father convinces him that no one can stifle his spirit, and it is that strength that will help him secure a better life. Caesar's musings occasionally seem overly insightful for someone his age but they do help impart historical information. Nixon includes a note describing her research, a history of Williamsburg, a section called "Slavery in Colonial Virginia," a recipe for bean hominy, and a map. Independent readers may get too bogged down by all of the supplementary material to develop empathy for Caesar and his family, but this title should prove useful for curriculum units.Betty Teague, Blythe Academy of Languages, Greenville, SC
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
In partnership with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation come authentic novels set in the
18th century about actual people, places, and events in this celebrated Virginia town.
Caesar?s life as a slave consists of long hours of backbreaking work. Having his mother, father, and sisters around him is the one thing that makes it all bearable. But when the master chooses Caesar to be his personal servant and live in the big house far from his own home, Caesar has no choice but to obey. Why do things have to change?