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Caesar's Story: 1759 (Colonial Williamsburg(R)) Hardcover – April 11, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

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?
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Series: Colonial Williamsburg(R)
  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (April 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385326769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385326766
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Richmond VINE VOICE on July 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This, the second in the Colonial Williamsburg Young Americans series, is the story of a slave boy who moves from Carter's Grove Plantation to Williamsburg when his young master attends the grammar school at the College of William and Mary. This brief tale of mid-seventeenth life is fast-paced and full of action, while yet vibrantly aware of the emotional turmoil suffered by all parties to the blight that was slavery. Nixon, a prolific and talented children's novelist, never allows her writing to dwindle into maudlin political correctness or weep sentimentality. This is a highly recommended book not just for the young readers for which it is intended, but anyone who appreciates a good historical read. Reading this just prior to a visit to Colonial Williamsburg would be a treat indeed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Nixon provides wonderful insight into the time period through the eyes of a young slave, Caesar. The prologue sets the mood for the story to be told by an experienced storyteller and once the tale begins, the reader will have a hard time putting it down. Caesar brings the reader into his world. The frustration of slavery is so palpable the reader will feel Caesar's yearning. He is reminded repeatedly that a slave has no control over his future. His sister is moved to the big house to serve as a personal servant and his father is sent to Williamburg to work as a carpenter. With his family torn apart, Caesar is then told he has been chosen to become a personal servant as well. After spending his early years playing with the master's son, Nat, Caesar has a difficult time adjusting to his life as a personal servant to the same boy who was once his best friend. The one thing he discovers is that he may not have his freedom but he will always have spirit.
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Format: Hardcover
"Caesar's Story: 1759" is a good book for those being introduced to slavery (not during The Civil War). It's gritty in it own way, in how it deals with a black young slave child and white young owner child starting out as friends, but then becoming slave and master, without the fun memories. The Young Americans series is wonderful because each person was a living being, who lived a life. Even though little is known about Caesar, I'm glad he was given the chance to enter the reading worlds of readers. I recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
perfect gift for my grandsons; great story; plenty of real history made fun.
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