Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel Hardcover – September 11, 2012
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
The thrilling role of the unrecognized young hero will grab teen readers.
More About the Author
She is also the author of A Certain Strain of Peculiar, a Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, and Chancey of the Maury River, A William Allen White Masters list title for grades 3-5. Come August, Come Freedom, her first work of historical fiction, was named a 2013 Jefferson Cup Honor title and chosen by Bank Street College as a Best Children's Book of the Year. In 2012, Gigi received a Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts from Richmond magazine.
Top Customer Reviews
Sorry, but that's not enough for me.
With all due respect to the Black General, this book is completely dry and lackluster. In Ms. Amateau's excitement of telling this story, she fails to create interesting characters or even work to engage the reader. I found myself soldiering through this book for lack of anything else to do, appreciating the book's situations, but never becoming absorbed into this story. The historical documents tucked everywhere in this book are interesting in and of themselves, but with the dry writing and storytelling are more distractions that left me wondering if they were included simply because Ms. Amateau didn't want to bother writing out the details. In fact, much of this book is told simply through dull summary.
Yes, Ms. Amateau brings to light a fascinating figure from a time of chaos in history, and I appreciate her doing that. But as a novel, this book falls flat.
But there are more problems with the book for me. For one, the characterization is very black and white. Even if Gabriel is in the wrong he's hailed as a hero and all of the white characters are painted in some negative way even if they're supposed to be part of the "good" contingent. Furthermore, even without prior knowledge of Gabriel's life, I had a pretty good idea of where the book would end up. The writing is accessible but the plotting is not overly shocking. What you think will happen probably will in some way. There's nothing of a revelation. And as for being a book about what freedom really means, well, it presents the idea but about all I got was that freedom for Gabriel (from the author's point of view) amounts to being able to live his own life with Nanny free of his master.Read more ›
The book, which is interspersed with simple black-and-white drawings and quite a few historical anecdotes (particularly of the U.S. Atlantic slave trade), is a powerful and stark reminder of a very dark time in American history. Hopefully, one day books like this one will become required reading for all schoolchildren in the United States.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get to know the real, and very sordid, history of America.
The hero of the story is Gabriel who is apprenticed to a blacksmith (that's where the bellows in the title of the story comes in). Unable to buy the freedom of his beloved bride Nanny he raises a multiracial army of oppressed people and becomes "The Black General Gabriel". As foreshadowed by the title he meets a sad end at the gallows.
The book is interspersed with documents (letters, flyers, journals, etc.) that the back of the book tells me are "authentic, original documents". Unfortunately in the advanced reading copy I received there is no information as to where these sources are from or any attempt to authenticate them. A bibliography or at least an author's note would give more information as to how much of the story is based on fact and how much simply sprang from the author's imagination. The book is a quick read but it seems like it had the potential to be so much more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story of Gabriel, a slave born in 1777, is told for the first time in Amateau’s historical fiction tale of his life. Read morePublished 10 months ago by SunshineRose
It was a good story from the point of view of the slaves. It was well researched and fiction made believable.Published 16 months ago by Wat
I read this book with my middle-schooler for a historical fiction book report. We really enjoyed the story and the accurate historical story line. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Elisabeth F. Arnold
I liked the book. It flows well and gives much more information about daily life of slaves than I'd expected... Read morePublished on January 15, 2014 by LRK
Gabriel is a slave that becomes an apprentice for a blacksmith. While he is attempting to make and save money, he is unable to purchase his love. Read more
I feel it's important to share history and bring characters to life; it's how we remember the good and bad of history. However, this book does not deliver. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by kiwanissandy
I wasn't expecting to like this book, but as part of the vine program I tried it out and I really liked it! I'm giving it to my teenager next to read. High recommended.Published on December 30, 2013 by MicheleLK
This is a fascinating story of a complicated time in our history and an equally complicated character inhabiting it. Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Karen Baker
Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel is a historical version of several historical events. Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by S. Power